travelBulletin sat down with Norwegian Cruise Line’s Director of Sales Australia and New Zealand, Damian Borg, to hear about new sailings for 2021 through 2023 spanning seven continents and how they’re adapting their communication style in the current climate.
Q1) What attracted you to joining Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)?
When I joined Norwegian Cruise Line in 2018 as National Accounts Manager the Sydney office had been established for just over 2 years and had already been doing great things in the local market. The opportunity to join the innovative team and become a part of a business that was still in the process of establishing itself in this market, combined with huge potential for high growth, was very appealing.
Q2) How are you staying connected with key partners during this challenging time?
One thing we are all missing as we work from home is personal connection with our industry colleagues and we’re having to adapt how we communicate.
We’ve just launched NCL’s News & Network series for our travel partners, ongoing webinars hosted by our Business Development Managers who each bring their own social twist to the educational experience.
The inaugural session focused on NCL’s newly unveiled sailings for 2021- 2022 across our 17-ship fleet, and we are rolling out a schedule of individual destination updates over the coming weeks and months.
We’ve also just launched our Partners First Facebook group, an interactive space where travel partners can ask questions, share ideas and participate in competitions. At a time where information is so critical, we are doing all we can to make sure that our partners are 100% up to date on all things NCL!
These platforms will help us stay connected with and inspire our partners by learning more about our spectacular new itineraries, initiatives and all-important operational updates.
Q3) What’s new on the horizon for NCL?
NCL recently opened more than a year of aspirational sailings for 2021 through 2023, with voyages to over 20 new destinations, across all seven continents. Perfect timing for those who are daydreaming of travel in the current environment.
We will see a greater number of itineraries in Australia, New Zealand and Asia from 2021. The newly refurbished Norwegian Spirit will sail local waters for the first time in 2021 replacing Norwegian Jewel, offering a unique repositioning cruise from Singapore to Sydney before starting her season in Australia and New Zealand. In a further boost to our local market, Norwegian Sun will also offer a selection of incredible South East Asia itineraries for those looking for a closer to home cruise experience.
For a complete list of the new 2021 to 2023 itineraries, visit ncl.com.
Q4) NCL is the preeminent fly-cruise operator, what impact does this have for you currently?
As a fly-cruise operator, our customers generally book to a longer lead time. In current times, the further out we look, naturally the higher confidence builds in resuming global travel. With cruisers now aspiring to travel and researching their long-term sailing options, NCL is perfectly positioned with inventory and schedules to accommodate. And there is always a great promotion to help guests make a decision sooner!
Q5) How is NCL contributing to a positive narrative for the cruising industry?
With a lot of uncertainty, NCL’s Peace of Mind philosophy affords guests and travel partners the freedom of flexibility to book knowing they can change plans as needed. It also encompasses our new enhanced health and safety program, demonstrating that the health and safety of our guests and team onboard and ashore is our ultimate priority.
The six key areas of health and safety measures we will be implementing fleetwide, with more in development, are:
- All-new medical grade air filtration
- Enhanced screening protocols
- Increased sanitation measures
- Responsible social distancing
- Enhanced medical resources
- Extended ship to shore safety
We are looking forward to announcing more details around our robust health and safety program in the near future.
Additional detail can be found at ncl.com/PeaceOfMind.