NCL eyes more Australian growth
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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