Norwegian Cruise Line chalked up record bookings for Norwegian Spirit’s inaugural summer season Down Under in 2021/22 with more Australians wanting to sail closer to home.
“We are seeing an upswing in interest for closer to home sailings on Norwegian Spirit, set to sail a series of immersive Asia, Australia and New Zealand itineraries for her inaugural 2021 and 2022 local sailing season,” says Ben Angell, NCL vice president and managing director, APAC.
“We have seen unprecedented demand and record bookings since launching our recent Norwegian Spirit promotional campaign,” said Mr Angell in an interview with Cruise Passenger.
Passengers can save up to $800 on Norwegian Spirit’s inaugural season in Australia and NZ if bookings are made up from now to 4 November.
They will also receive two choices from NCL’s popular ‘Free at sea’ offer including a free beverage package, free shore excursion credit, free specialty dining package, free WiFi package and access to third and fourth guest sailing at a reduced rate on select itineraries.
There are no plans to send Norwegian Jewel to cruise in local waters after the line cancelled its 2020-21 sailings.
Here’s A Q&A with Mr Angell
Regent has recently had a record booking day. How are NCL bookings going?
Like our sister brands we are seeing consistent signs of improving guest confidence, which is reflected in sustained growth in bookings since July.
Whilst our traditional destinations of Europe and Hawaii continue to book strongly for late 2021 and 2022, we are seeing an upswing in interest for closer to home sailings including on Norwegian Spirit, set to sail a series of immersive Asia, Australia and New Zealand itineraries for her inaugural 2021 and 2022 local sailing season.
We have seen unprecedented demand and record bookings since launching our recent Norwegian Spirit promotional campaign.
2.What can local cruisers look forward to that’s new and different?
Her inaugural 2021/2022 local summer sailing season sees Norwegian Spirit offering a collection of eight 10- and 12- day port intensive itineraries departing from Sydney and Auckland that will reveal breathtaking beauty to even the most seasoned travellers. The ship has recently undergone the most extensive bow-to-stern modernisation in the history of the line’s innovative fleet and is designed with the adult cruiser in mind.
Once onboard the all-new Norwegian Spirit, guests will experience laid-back luxury, perfect for Australians and New Zealanders, on one of NCL’s smaller vessels, as they explore a completely enhanced ship, offering reimagined and refined adult-centric spaces, fresh staterooms and 14 new venues. Further updated elements include the second Onda by Scarpetta restaurant at sea, a doubled-in-size Mandara Spa, an expanded Pulse Fitness Center and the adult-only retreat Spice H2O.
3.What makes the Spirit different? And what kind of food offerings and entertainment will we get?
Norwegian Spirit is a reimagined ship from bow-to-stern. She offers guests access to 10 bars and lounges and 14 dining options – from Teppanyaki to fine French fare in Le Bistro, or mouthwatering meats in Cagney’s Steakhouse, Norwegian Spirit offers something delicious for all tastes. Exquisite Italian dishes will be served in the second Onda by Scarpetta at sea, only otherwise available on our newest ship, Norwegian Encore.
Guests can also take advantage of Spice H20, an adults-only escape where you are invited to relax and unwind with a cocktail while soaking in a large hot tub. The wide variety of bars onboard offer a diverse range of beverage selections and experiences – no matter what your favourite tipple – from enjoying a glass of bubbles in Magnum’s Champagne & Wine Bar, to relaxing with a pint in Henry’s Pub.
Guests will be captivated with the award-winning entertainment available onboard including Palace of Lights; a vibrant musical set in 1950s Cuba, and Elements; a visual feast of flying, dance and magic, this dazzling show revels in the four elements of Earth, Air, Water and Fire.
4.You mentioned ‘quality close to home destinations’. Where will the Spirit be taking Aussie sailors?
Her inaugural 2021/2022 local summer sailing season sees Norwegian Spirit offering a collection of eight 10- and 12- day port intensive itineraries departing from Sydney and Auckland. On Norwegian Spirit’s 23 December 2021 sailing, Norwegian Cruise Line will make its debut in Timaru, New Zealand. Travellers can also take advantage of extra time in Melbourne, with select dates offering overnight calls. She will be visiting a raft of scenic local ports including Tauranga, Napier, Akaroa, Burnie, Eden and more. Norwegian Spirit’s range of immersive Australia and New Zealand itineraries give local cruisers the opportunity to explore this beautiful region that we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep.
With Norwegian Spirit to visit a vast range of scenic ports during her inaugural 2021/22 local sailing season, our guests won’t have to go far to find spectacular views and lush landscapes. What they will discover once they step on board the all-new Norwegian Spirit will be just as magnificent – guests will experience laid-back luxury as they explore a completely enhanced ship, offering reimagined and refined adult-centric spaces, fresh staterooms and 14 new venues. Norwegian Spirit is one of the smaller vessels in our 17-strong, innovative fleet, offering a more exclusive sailing experience for our future guests.
5. What new health measures will be introduced for passengers at embarkation/disembarkation. Will there also be more stricter health and safety protocols introduced during excursions – can we please have more details.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings established a Healthy Sail Panel in partnership with Royal Caribbean Group to develop a comprehensive set of recommendations that will guide the cruise industry’s way forward in response to COVID-19. These recommendations, including 74 detailed best practices across five areas of focus, will be used to inform our brand’s robust set of health and safety protocols, which will be shared in the near future.
Consisting of 11 globally recognised experts with deep knowledge in the areas of science, medical practice, medical research, public health, infectious disease, biosecurity and maritime operations, the Panel serves as an example of our commitment to protecting our guests, crew and the communities we visit. The work of the Panel has been shared widely with the cruise industry and is available to any business that may benefit from our findings.
6. Any special offers we can talk about?
We are currently offering our Spirit Summer Sale, giving holidaymakers the chance to save up-to AU$800 on Norwegian Spirit’s 2021/22 inaugural Australia and New Zealand season, from now until 4 November 2020.
Guests will also receive two choices from NCL’s popular ‘Free at Sea’ offer, including a free beverage package, free shore excursion credit, free specialty dining package, free Wi-Fi package and access to NCL’s ‘3rd and 4th’ guest sail at a reduced rate’ (on select sailings).
Itinerary highlights for Norwegian Spirit’s 2021/2022 AUNZ sailing season include:
Celebrate Christmas and New Year with loved ones onboard NCL’s 12-day Australia and New Zealand from Sydney to Aucklanditinerary, departing 23 December 2021. This voyage sees the line make its debut in Timaru, with Norwegian Spirit to also visit a range of lush local ports including Eden, Burnie, Napier and Akaroa.
Norwegian Spirit’s 10-day Australia and New Zealand from Aucklandvoyage, departing February 21 2022, gives guests the opportunity of a lifetime to discover the renowned Milford Sound, with this itinerary also visiting a spectacular array of ports including Tauranga, Napier, Wellington and Akaroa for an immersive New Zealand cruise experience.
NCL’s 12-Day Australia and New Zealand from Auckland to Sydneyitinerary, departing Auckland on 4 January 2022, allows for guests to cruise through some of Australia and New Zealand’s most scenic destinations, visiting a variety of colorful ports including Lyttelton, Dunedin (Port Chalmers), Burnie, Eden and an overnight stay in Melbourne.
For more information, you can call NCL on 1300 255 200 or visit www.ncl.com