Norwegian heads Down Under

By the end of this year, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) will have opened its brand-new sales and marketing office in Sydney – the first of its kind in Australia for the Miami-based company.

At the helm will be Steve Odell, Senior Vice President and Managing Director Australasia, who has been in the cruising industry for almost 30 years. He will be responsible for the growth of the company’s three lines: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

“The new office in Australia … reflects our confidence in the growing Australia and New Zealand markets and we believe that our three brands are all a perfect fit for the Australian market, offering a wide variety of experiences and worldwide itineraries,” says Harry Sommer, Executive Vice President of NCLH’s International Business Development.

This is the “natural next step” for the cruise line which, in November last year, acquired Prestige Cruise Holdings’ cruise lines Oceania and Regent for the sum of $3 billion. After the merger, Frank Del Rio – the man who built Oceania from the ground up and later merged it with Regent – took over as Norwegian’s CEO.

One of his first orders of business was to invest $40 million into driving demand to the company’s brands – and its Sydney office will help reach that goal.

The upscale Oceania and Regent lines already include Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands on their itineraries. Whether an Australian office will entice Norwegian ships to port here too is yet to be announced; the last Norwegian ship we saw on our shores was in 2002.

NCLH plans to launch six new ships from now to 2019 – one each for Oceania and Regent and the others for Norwegian.