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NCL focuses to promote ‘Norwegian Bliss’ in India

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is all set to launch its new vessel Norwegian Bliss in June, 2018. The vessel is set to sail from Alaska and can accommodate 4,000 guests. Last year, NCL witnessed double digit growth from India market, with growth across all its three brands Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC).

Speaking about the new product, Felix Chan, Vice President- Sales Asia, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings said, “One of our key focuses in India will be promoting the Norwegian Bliss, the newest ship to be launched in next June from Alaska. We will promote this cruise aggressively in India market. Along with over 30 F&B outlets, we also offer a lot of Broadway production shows with a large in-house entertainment team. We will also introduce the Haven Horizon Lounge with 270 degree observation lounge for the first time. I have met a lot of Indian agencies and many of them have already started selling the Norwegian Bliss. This is quite unusual for India market as usually consumers here book quite late usually between 30-45 days before the sailings.”

By 2025, the group aims to introduce seven more vessels across all three brands. In 2017, the group has not only witnessed growth from India but have seen demand for luxury and incentive cruising from India market.  “We have seen a tremendous double-digit growth from India in 2017. Apart from FIT or regular groups, we have seen increase in MICE business. MICE is rapidly growing segment and corporate incentive travels are happening. Corporate planners have now started understanding the benefits of cruise vacations versus same event on luxury hotels. We have got quite a number in MICE compared to last year,” Chan added.

Speaking about the growth in luxury segment, he further said, “We have witnessed tremendous growth in our luxury business from India market. RSSC has seen great response; this is one of the top inclusive luxury cruises in the world. We have more travellers showing interest and also reservations for luxury cruising from India. Indians like luxury sailings in Europe. These customers are not traditional cruisers, but want to experience the luxury onboard our RSSC and compare it with luxury vacations on land.”

Earlier the Indian cruise travellers preferred homeports such as Hong Kong and Singapore and short cruise vacations, but now the trend has changed. Travellers are looking for more exotic locations.

To further develop the brand, NCL have introduced a programme called Norwegian Edge under which the group has invested US$525 million to refurbish older vessels and maintain the standards of NCL experience. “ in 2018, we will have Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Jewel going for refurbishment. We spend close to US$40 million per ship. Last year, we have upgraded RSSC Voyager and have got a very good response. This is an ongoing process.”

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