NCL eyes more Aus­tralian growth

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NOR­WE­GIAN Cruise Line’s exec vp int’l business de­vel­op­ment Harry Som­mer told Cruise Weekly the cruise line was “op­ti­mistic” it would send a ship down un­der for the 2019/20 sea­son.

Speak­ing in Sydney on Sun on board Nor­we­gian Jewel dur­ing the ship’s first visit for its in­au­gu­ral lo­cal home­port sea­son, Som­mer high­lighted the ship’s de­ploy­ment as “one of the big suc­cesses for us this year”.

“I’d say that any­time some­thing is suc­cess­ful, the like­li­hood that we’re go­ing to re­peat it is great,” he con­tin­ued, not­ing the de­ploy­ment de­tails for 2019/20 would be re­vealed in Dec.

Som­mer also hinted an an­nounce­ment was in the works in the tech­nol­ogy space, ex­plain­ing “we’re clearly look­ing at things like what Royal and Dis­ney did”.

Nor­we­gian’s big­gest chal­lenge in Aus­tralia was the avail­abil­ity of ports, he said.

“If I could wave my magic wand and triple the port ca­pac­ity in Sydney, I would give you a dif­fer­ent an­swer...there would be no rea­son why we couldn’t take mul­ti­ple ships, big­ger ships, dif­fer­ent ships.”

Som­mer voiced sup­port for the cruise ref­er­ence group’s rec­om­men­da­tion of Gar­den Is­land as the pre­ferred lo­ca­tion for a sec­ond cruise ter­mi­nal in Sydney ( CW 12 Oct), urg­ing the NSW Gov­ern­ment to fol­low through and turn it into a plan.

NCL has ex­pe­ri­enced a 50% growth in year-over-year sales in 2017, when com­pared to 2016.

“There are not very many places in the world where we could be up 50% in sales so we’re very happy with that,” he said.

NOR­WE­GIAN Cruise Line wel­comed Nor­we­gian Jewel into Aus­tralian wa­ters on Sun for the start of the cruise line’s in­au­gu­ral Aus­tralian and New Zealand home­port sea­son.

Ni­cole Con­stantin, vp sales Nor­we­gian Cruise Line, showed me­dia around the 2,376-pas­sen­ger ves­sel, high­light­ing some of its 16 din­ing venues, 15 bars and lounges and pub­lic spa­ces.

The ship will op­er­ate a to­tal of nine voy­ages through to Feb, in­clud­ing seven round trip itineraries from Sydney and will return next year fresh from a multi-mil­lion dol­lar dry­dock.

Speak­ing to Cruise Weekly, NCL’s exec vp int’l business de­vel­op­ment Harry Som­mer said Nor­we­gian

Jewel’s in­au­gu­ral sea­son was “pretty much sold out”.

“We can clearly see this is a place that has tremen­dous po­ten­tial that’s well re­ceived by our past guest base so we’re not just look­ing for new pas­sen­gers, we have loyal guests that want to come here which is a huge help.”

Som­mer said NCL de­cided to send Jewel to Aus­tralia as it was the only cruise mar­ket in the top five that it didn’t al­ready have “a real pres­ence” in.

NCL vp sales Ni­cole Con­stantin is pic­tured with Nor­we­gian Jewel master Ken­neth Harstrom.

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