Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) welcomed Jason Krimmel, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, International to Sydney yesterday to celebrate the wins of 2023 and discuss what’s ahead for 2024.
The visit marked Krimmel’s first time in Australia, who was in the country to meet with NCL’s Australian team and trade partners.
Karryon was in attendance at a media lunch where Krimmel revealed that NCL has seen a “phenomenal booking year” with record-breaking future business on the books.
He acknowledged the importance of the Australian market to the brand. Prior to the pandemic, it was the largest revenue-generating international market. Australia is nearly back to those levels and is surpassing 2019 numbers. Europe is also performing better, but airlines were acknowledged as the challenge in the Australian market.
“We’re set to make history in 2024,” said Krimmel.
The recovery of international markets, he said, had been extremely positive. The untapped opportunities, he said, were in regions where it’s a struggle to get travellers currently due to limited airline capacities and routes.
NCL, it was reported, has returned to its pre pandemic level of quality of guests.
“Australia offers better quality guests than even domestic,” said Krimmel.
The company has spent a lot of time and effort focused on fly/cruise guests which Krimmel said had been a “successful strategy.”
The company is looking at hopefully being able to offer air from Australia, with Krimmel confirming “it’s in the works – the Australian market is a priority for air,” he said.
When it comes to their new Prima class of ships, Krimmel said that Norwegian Cruise Line feels “extremely positive about booking patterns for 25/26 where more inventory is about to open up.”
Overall, Krimmel reiterated that Norwegian Cruise Line is much more than a cruise brand.
“We are about experiences. We are not about a cruise, we are about being the best holiday, the best value, the best experience,” he said.
Ben Angell, Vice President and Managing Director, APAC also addressed the media guests. He stated that 2024 will see more competition than 2019.
“The UK had a fantastic bounce out of Covid, and has sustained that. But I don’t think any market has bounced out better than we did. There is the ongoing pain point of high air price and limited capacity,” he said.
“We’re confident we’ll be back at the top of the international food chain by 2024 or 2025,” said Angell.
Asia itineraries, especially Japan, are proving very popular with Australian guests – with Angell confirming that the Jewel 23/24 season has nearly sold out. For the 24/25 season, Norwegian Cruise Line will have four ships sailing in this part of the world.
“Looking at 2024 and beyond, guests want the same destinations as they’ve always wanted: Europe, Hawaii and Asia which has grown.
“Our guests are willing to spend more and are booking further out, despite flights being expensive,” he said.
The success of Norwegian Cruise Line’s wellbeing initiative, Walk for Wellness, which recently hit a world record, was also acknowledged at the event.
For more information, visit ncl.com
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