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Norwegian Cruise Line UK MD Eamonn Ferrin: ‘New tools for the trade’

Eamonn Ferrin reveals departure from Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line vice-president and managing director UK Eamonn Ferrin outlines the line’s new trade-friendly concepts and reveals what itineraries are in demand.

As we look to resume operations in the not too distant future, we know that it is more important than ever to work alongside our trusted travel partners and provide them with world-class tools to do their job.

This month, we announced the launch of NCL’s Freestyle Rewards, our new incentive programme where individual UK travel partners can earn, collect and redeem points towards thousands of gifts or vouchers of their choice.

In late 2020, we also unveiled Norwegian Central, a new and exclusive trade portal to help travel agents learn, market and sell NCL holidays more easily, as well as NCL Air, a revolutionary platform for fly-cruise bookings. We’ve already received some great feedback from travel partners on all these new initiatives and platforms.

There is lots to be excited about in the year ahead as we are seeing a large amount of demand for cruises for the second half of 2021, 2022 and 2023, with a huge surge in bookings this month alone.

More ships in Europe

We know that, for the near future, people are looking to book trips closer to home with Europe being one of our most popular destinations for 2021. However, as we look ahead to 2022 and 2023, guests are also booking their cruise holiday further afield.

Among the favourite itineraries are, for example, our seven-day roundtrip journey from New Orleans through the Western Caribbean on board Norwegian Breakaway, the 18-day Norwegian Jade sailing from Cape Town to Dubai late next year, as well as Norwegian Sun’s Asia voyages departing from Tokyo in 2022.

In terms of offers for guests, we have some fantastic promotions in the coming months. For example, until 25 January, guests can get 30 per cent off all cruises and receive all Free at Sea Packages for just £99pp, which is great value for money.

I’m also pleased to report that our current promotions are being well received and we see some great bookings coming through.

Due to its popularity, we are increasing our presence in Europe on a large scale. Norwegian Dawn celebrates her European debut this year, while the recently refurbished Norwegian Spirit is set to sail a series of immersive Mediterranean itineraries.

Norwegian Escape will also be the first Breakaway Plus class ship coming to Europe later in 2021. She’ll be sailing Baltic itineraries, including a nine-day sailing departing from Warnemuende (Berlin) and visiting Russia, Finland and Denmark in September 2021.

Our priority remains the safety, security and wellbeing of our guests, team members and all those in the communities we visit. With this in mind, we co-established the industry-leading Healthy Sail Panel in 2020, consisting of 11 globally recognised experts with specialist knowledge.

The panel submitted comprehensive recommendations, including 74 detailed best practices across five areas of focus to improve health and safety for passengers and crew and reduce the risk of infections on cruise ships.

These recommendations will be implemented onto the entire Norwegian Cruise Line fleet to enhance our already robust health and safety measures. The final safety protocols will be shared soon and will be continuously updated and expanded to align with the latest scientific recommendations.

We are very excited for the future of NCL and are greatly looking forward to launching our next class of ships, Leonardo, between 2022 and 2027. The six new vessels are designed to further delight our cruise guests and will offer some exciting innovations.

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