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NTIA Champions: Q&A with Michelle Black, ANZ MD of Most Popular Ocean Cruise Operator Viking

Its ocean ships have only been sailing since 2015, but Viking has already won over holidaymakers and the trade. Here, we talk to Michelle Black, Viking Australia and New Zealand managing director about the cruise line's recent win at the NTIAs, its future and its winning formula.

Its ocean ships have only been sailing since 2015, but Viking has already won over holidaymakers and the trade. Here, we talk to Michelle Black, Viking Australia and New Zealand managing director about the cruise line’s recent win at the NTIAs, its future and its winning formula.

Congratulations on the award… to what do you attribute the win?

This is Viking‘s first win in this category and we wish to thank our key trade partners, without whom this win would not have been possible.

Over the past six years we have maximised all opportunities for our trade partners to experience our ocean product firsthand which has undoubtedly contributed to this win. 

Our ship inspections and famils are hugely valuable in showcasing our award-winning modern ships and the fantastic service we have become known for. 

We know that once people step on board they fall in love with our beautiful ships and that really is the most powerful marketing tool we have.

What sets Viking’s approach apart from others in cruising?

Agents always comment on the elegant Scandinavian interiors, which provide a nod to our Nordic history, and the abundance of public space to relax in our natural light-filled spaces. 

And our no kids no casinos policy has been hugely popular for us since our ocean ships began sailing in 2015.

The conversation around travel has mostly moved on from looking back to looking forward… what does the future look like for Viking?

The future for Viking looks bright. Our planned fleet expansion program will see the introduction of 23 new river and ocean ships by 2030. 

The new ships will enable us to meet the growing demand the cruise industry is experiencing whilst providing more choice and flexibility to our guests across all seven continents.

The Viking ANZ team at NTIA 2023.

How did you find the change of scenery in Melbourne for this year’s NTIAs? What did you love most about NTIA 2023?

The Viking team had a great time at the NTIAs in Melbourne this year. It is such a great opportunity for us to come together, meet new people, support one another, and celebrate our accomplishments. 

Our win was a huge surprise and we all enjoyed celebrating at the Viking after-party!

What do you love most about the cruising industry?

What makes the cruise industry such a great one to work in, for me, are the people. 

There’s nothing more rewarding than working alongside a community of like-minded professionals who all share a passion for what they do.

Read our wrap of the 2023 NTIAs.