Meet a SATIC Member – Floating Melodies

15 November 2017


Music and food on a cruise is not an unusual concept, however, a cruise where all the elements are showcasing the place where the cruise exists is. On Floating Melodies, you can escape with some of South Australia’s finest cultural elements all in one place.

"Floating Melodies is a truly unique celebration, a little like a soiree with sightseeing that takes place on the Popeye, Adelaide’s local iconic River Torrens/Karrawirra Pari cruiser. On this cruise, you will taste some of South Australia’s world-renowned produce and beverages, see the riverbank, cityscape and birdlife, and hear some of South Australia’s finest musicians," says Producer, Emma Knights.

Floating Melodies cruises run on the first Sunday of each month, as well as offering corporate and private bookings and other special cruises throughout the year. In showcasing many of the elements that South Australia has to offer, there are also many cruises that showcase the multiculturalism within our communities.

In the last six months, Floating Melodies has employed two staff to take care of the guests whilst aboard the Popeye, introduced EFT payments on board and developed a new website.

“We also have a designer on board to create the graphics for each individual cruise which makes everything look more streamlined and professional."

In addition, “talks have started recently to expand Floating Melodies to other river cruisers in South Australia, Tasmania and even New Zealand.”

In 2016, Floating Melodies was awarded a silver medal at the South Australian Tourism Awards, as well as a bronze medal in 2015 and 2014. Through this process, Emma discovered the ways to improve the business and most importantly, ways to make the business sustainable both from a business perspective and an environmental perspective, which led Emma to becoming ATAP Accredited.

“Having the tick has been important to show audiences and suppliers that my business is of a high standard, and it means that I am always looking at ways to further fit the guidelines and improve my business. It also gives me access to publicise the cruises to an audience I could not reach on my own.”

Looking into the future, Emma says there are a lot of exciting new types of cruises coming up next year, as well as involvement in a new festival to be announced soon.

“You may also find Floating Melodies popping up in other places and there will hopefully be some more collaborating with other businesses along the riverbank too…think of a floating progressive dinner.”

“I am very excited to have musician, Adam Page performing in December this year. He is a wonderful and very entertaining musician if you haven’t seen him perform then I highly recommend coming along. There will also be a special Swedish Christmas cruise too just before Christmas – featuring songs from Roxette and ABBA! 2018 will see our first burlesque cruise next Valentine’s Day. Next year’s full program will be announced on the 8th of December.”

With the fifth anniversary of Floating Melodies fast approaching in 2018, Emma attributes much of her growing success to collaborating with other local businesses, this of which has helped her reach a larger audience base that she otherwise wouldn’t have reached on her own.

“From doing a lot of asking and re-asking, Floating Melodies has been a part of so many larger events like OzAsia, Cellar Door Festival Launch, Adelaide Food and Wine Festival and more.”

Working out where you want your business to sit in the grand scheme of things and persistence are also key to business success, says Emma.

“It took me almost a year to get listed on TripAdvisor. It finally happened because I attended a TripAdvisor event so I could actually speak to a person because they just kept rejecting me online. It still took another few months after that to get listed but it finally happened. Keep an eye on events that are of interest to where you want to go as without that event I would still be getting rejected.”

Most importantly, however, Emma encourages other tourism businesses to listen to their customers and seek out other local business people to talk with and ultimately learn from.

“We can all learn something from each other. Floating Melodies (and Emma Knights Productions) is only a young company but I have learnt so much from just trying things and talking to others. I am a performing musician by trade and so do not have some big trust fund or other means to fund my business now or when it started but I think if you believe in something enough you can make it happen! I believe there is so much talent here and so my business exists to showcase it, grow it and to also shine a light on all the other things I love about this state – the places, foods, beverages and the community.”

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