Skyrocketing air prices have hindered Australians from cruising overseas. But Norwegian Cruise Line are looking to combat the problem by offering airfares to their Australian guests as early as next year.
Jason Kimmel, the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for the line also hinted that there would be further deployments of NCL ships in Australia.
“We are looking at hopefully being able to offer air from Australia to the places that our cruise ships are.
“Our guests want to experience new destinations and we see Australian cruisers as quality cruise passengers. This client profile matches the capabilities of the market,” he said.
“Air has become a vital component of how we operate. We are looking at hopefully being able to offer airfares from Australia to the places where our cruise ships are. Right now, we are hoping that it is going to be in quarter one of 2024.
“The Australian market is a priority for us in terms of expanding our Norwegian Cruise Line airfare offerings.
The cruise line is also looking at expanding by offering land tours, pre, and post-cruise for guests.
“Cruise is not exactly the easiest thing if you’re a cruiser. But we know that when we can offer end-to-end, it’s an easier sell.
“So, the fact that we’re going to put the holiday in a nice bow, wrap it up. That’s going to be a priority for us. That fits right in with where the brand going with longer itineraries and more time in port than our competitors.
In 2025, NCL will have four ships in the Asia Pacific region. The line’s Vice President of APAC, Ben Angell hinted that there was the potential to create itineraries for Australians and New Zealand cruisers to experience the brand.
“If we look at what we are doing now with our ships, and more exotic places, there is a likelihood that we may look at this region in a different capacity. Potentially bringing more ships that touch the area,” said Kimmel.
While the ships won’t be homeported in Australia, both NCL representatives said that itineraries designed for locals to try the brand is high on the agenda.
The line is still seeing huge sales for Europe as well as parts of Asia, particularly Japan.
“We welcomed back Norwegian Jewel back into Asia last year after a three-year hiatus. We’ve been out of the region for a long time,” said Angell.
“The itineraries we operate with Norwegian Spirit out of Australia are incredibly popular with inbound guests from the US, Europe, and the UK.
“But the Asia itineraries, particularly the Japan itineraries have been so popular with Australia and New Zealand guests as well. The 2024 season is almost sold out.”