In the summer of 2017 a newbuild Norwegian cruise will reach China. This cruise is something unusual though, because the Norwegian Cruise Line will purposely build this cruise for Chinese passengers. According to Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holding, this cruise will be the most upscale and authenthic Chinese product yet.
He also said he expects the new ship to perform better financially than it would in Europe or the Caribbean.
“There are lots of products in the market today and many of them are interpretations of what the Chinese market wants,” Del Rio said. “This ship is being built specifically for the Chinese market,” Frank Del Rio says.
Details on the ship’s name, itineraries and features are set to follow before the vessel debuts in China in summer 2017.
“It will be a high-quality, high-end product, authentically Chinese,” he adds. Although, he will not give it a four- or five-star rating.
Norwegian will help define itself in China via cuisine and entertainment. Therefore there will be served Norwegian food onboard the new cruise. According to Frank Del Rio, “pinnekjøtt” and smoked salmon are the perfect dishes to be served to the future Chinese passengers. “There will be no question of who will have the best cuisine and it will be Norwegian,” Frank Del Rio says. “I think you will see a comprehensive entertainment program that captures the essence of Chinese culture.”
The company is holding its cards close, not announcing much in the way of features, but promising to appeal to a very well informed, sophisticated Chinese consumer.
To Cruise Industry News Frank Del Rio said: “There will be dramatic public areas and incredible artwork.”
Trying to make their brand visible in China, the Norwegian company will spend on advertising including TV, billboards and print.
“We have to help our travel agent partners sell the product,” Frank Del Rio says,
William Harber, senior vice president and managing director Asia, is on the ground for the company leading the charge in the east and said the demographic in China of emerging wealth is trending slightly younger, making it a good fit to Norwegian’s Freestyle cruising concept.