Norwegian flags future Australia deployment

Norwegian flags future Australia deployment
By admin

Norwegian Cruise Lines will bring a ship to Australia but a timeframe has yet to be determined.

The company’s vice president and general manager international, Francis Riley, told Travel Today it was a case of “if not when” but was unable to name a specific date.
The cruise line has already revealed its deployments until 2014 with the next round of itineraries due out towards the end of the year.
News of a future deployment – albeit one that will not happen until 2014/15 at the earliest – follows continued expansion in the local market with sales growth of 50% in each of the last three years.
The exchange rate, general desire for cruising and Norwegian’s Freestyle cruising concept, which is popular with first time cruisers, have all contributed to the increase, Riley said.
“We also opened a contact centre in Manila a year ago for agents and wholesalers and that has removed barriers,” he said.
Previously the Australian trade had to go through Miami which caused time zone issues.
Norwegian will add two ships to its 11-strong fleet over the next two years with the Norwegian Breakaway entering service in 2013 and the Getaway following in 2014. The vessels will provide the additional capacity and flexibility necessary to expand its geographic reach, Riley said.
Meanwhile, Riley, in Australia for an “annual pilgrimage”, called on the industry to end deep discounts in a move to stabilise pricing.
“We have got to move away from price otherwise we will lose sight of how good the product is and what value for money we offer,” he said.
While Norwegian was regularly edging up pricing “it is not where we need it to be”.
“We need to bridge the gap between value and what people are paying,” Riley said.

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