Cruise

Norwegian wants bigger slice of Aussie pie

Daisy Melwani

Norwegian Cruise Line is bolstering its presence with a regional sales and marketing office, and hand picked a seasoned cruise exec to lead the push.

The Miami-based cruise company has announced it will open a sales and marketing office in Sydney to represent its three brands: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises with cruise-industry stalwart, Steve Odell, to head up operations as senior vice president and managing director Australasia from October 1.

Currently, Oceania Cruises is represented in Australia by North-Sydney based Cruise Office and Regent Seven Seas by Wiltrans. Travel Weekly has since attempted to contact both offices, but in a statement NCL said “the company’s relationships with current travel industry partners and local representatives will remain in place, with the office providing further on-site support”.

Odell will oversee operations to support growing demand in cruising from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands and differentiating each brand’s unique offerings, the company said. While Oceania and Regent both have itineraries incorporating the region, Norwegian hasn’t deployed a ship here since the summer season of 2001-2002.

“In view of the growing international interest in cruising combined with our strong growth strategy, the new office in Australia is a natural next step in our global expansion of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings,” Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, executive vice president for international business development, Harry Sommer, said.

“It reflects our confidence in the growing Australia and New Zealand markets and we believe that our three brands – Norwegian with Freestyle Cruising, Oceania Cruises as an upper premium product and Regent Seven Seas Cruises in the luxury sector – are all a perfect fit for the Australian market, offering a wide variety of experiences and worldwide itineraries.”

Odell brings with him broad industry experience including in the luxury cruise segment and was most recently as Silversea’s president EMEA & Asia Pacific. He was also chairman of ICCA now CLIA Australasia between 2005 and 2007 and was a founding board member of Asia Cruise Association (now CLIA Asia).

The Australian office is expected to also offer additional training opportunities on a more regular basis and directly by NCL staff, the company stated.

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