NT News

Demand for cruises sends prices higher

- LISA ALLEN

PENT-UP demand for cruises is driving heavy bookings globally, with the head of the Australian arm of Norwegian Cruise Line expecting accelerate­d interest when ships finally get the green light to set sail from our shores.

Ben Angell, NCL vice-president, says there is “fantastic” booking momentum in the European and North American markets, adding that demand is so strong that prices are rising.

“Many of our major source markets like Europe and America are cruising already,” he said.

“By the time we (Australian­s) get excited and we know borders are reopening, the risk is we are well down the line, and the availabili­ty for cruising is not there and the prices have increased.

“It doesn’t matter if we are talking about departing from Sydney or Hawaii, we source guests from around the world.

“We are marching towards 80 per cent vaccinatio­n rates at the end of November. From that point forward, I imagine there will be a real conversati­on about a return to cruising.”

Internatio­nally, NCL has one-third of its 17-strong fleet of ships currently sailing.

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