Norwegian launches upscale cruise liner for Chinese market

Norwegian Joy’ is the name for the cruise ship that will pioneer Internationally-acclaimed Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) expansion into the ‘world’s fastest growing cruise market.’

Norwegian-Joy-cruise-ship

NCL unveiled in February 2016 the English and Chinese names for the world’s first purpose-built cruise liner for the China market, described as the most innovative ship ever styled exclusively for Chinese guests. The name Norwegian Joy emphasizes the experience that the ship will offer – ‘Paradise on the Sea’.

“After closely studying the Chinese cruise market for several years, we wanted to be clear about what we will deliver to our guests on this spectacular vessel,” said Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Chief Executive Officer Frank Del Rio. “Norwegian Joy will provide the same sense of freedom and flexibility found on all Norwegian Cruise Line ships, but with resort-style vacation experiences and amenities designed specifically with the Chinese guest in mind.”

With a capacity of 3,900 guests, the new Breakaway Plus-class vessel will debut in China in the summer 2017. Xuisine and onboard experiences will cater to the unique vacation preferences of Chinese guests. This “unrivaled customization” for the China market has involved detailed consultation with Chinese partners and local experts on the subtleties of Chinese culture and preferences, states NCL.

The upscale cruise experience especially tailored for modern Chinese travelers extends from world-class entertainment to a wide range of specially curated fine international dining, unrivaled duty-free luxury shopping at sea and a new range of incredible first-at-sea activities on board.

“Chinese guests will discover an unmatched quality of service, cuisine, entertainment and retail experience onboard Norwegian Joy that is simply not available in the China market today,” said Senior Vice President and Managing Director of China, David Herrera. “With Norwegian Joy, we will unquestionably offer our Chinese guests a superior product and introduce a new standard of innovation and excellence into what will soon be the world’s second largest cruise market.”

NCL has also revealed a new Chinese name and logo exclusively for the mainland China market. The company’s name will be represented by characters 诺唯真 (Nuò Wéi Zhēn), translating as a ‘Promising, Exclusive and Authentic’ cruise line, which perfectly reflects the company’s dedication to offering the premier cruise product in China. Along with outstanding entertainment, dining and upscale accommodations, Norwegian Cruise Line is renowned for a unique style of cruising known as Freestyle Cruising that offers guests the freedom and flexibility to dine, shop and enjoy entertainment on their own time schedule in a fun, relaxed, and energetic atmosphere. Only on Norwegian can guests enjoy their vacation at their leisure, with no set dining times, a wide array of dining experiences and a variety of award-winning entertainment.

To support NCL’s expansion in China, the company has opened offices in Beijing (Guomao CBD) and Shanghai (Xintiandi), supporting all three brands in the company’s portfolio – Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

NCL, or Norwegian, invites guests to “Feel Free” to explore the world on one of 14 purpose-built ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed, resort style cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.

Full-year revenues for the world’s third-largest cruise company increased to $4.3 billion, while net income jumped to $427 million.

By all accounts, 2015 was a truly successful year for Norwegian – a year which included strong net yield growth driven primarily by the go to market strategies aimed at driving demand that were introduced earlier in the year and the successful launch of the largest ship in our fleet, Norwegian Escape,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, on 23 February.

As a result of its post-acquisition strategies to drive demand, the Company entered the year in a solid booked position with more than 50% of overall 2016 inventory sold which is significantly ahead of the same time last year.  The Company is seeing this trend continue into next year where the current booked position for the first half of 2017 is approximately 30% higher compared to this time last year on a capacity increase of approximately 5%.

“Our strong booked position coming into the year provides us more pricing leverage during Wave season and beyond for remaining inventory than in years past,” said Del Rio.

Del Rio also said, reports skift.com, that he remained confident in the decision to send a new ship to China in the middle of next year. Even as some cruise giants caution that prices are dropping in the increasingly competitive market, Norwegian is customizing its upcoming ship for Chinese passengers. The company is also working on relationships with travel agents there and preparing to spend heavily to enter the market, with $15 million earmarked for this year and another $15 million for early 2017.

“Everything that I’ve seen, everything that my team on the ground sees, the discussions we’re having with the big-charter travel agents, operators, it reinforces our belief that overall there is no better place to deploy a new vessel — like we are deploying in 2017 — than in China,” Del Rio said.

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