Norwegian Cruise Line may base a ship in Australia in 2014, after it launches Breakaway and Getaway. It’s the only major ‘big ship’ company without a superliner in Sydney, but Norwegian looks set to “join the party”, according to Nicole Costantin, Regional Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Australia and New Zealand.
Costantin said it was the logical next step to send a Norwegian cruise ship to Australia. “I think we will, in the next two years,” she said. “You just have to look at the fact we’re launching two new ships (in 2013 and 2014) so our other ships have to move somewhere, and where do you go? Where you don’t have any ships.”
Norwegian management has repeatedly discussed cruising from Australia, Costantin said, adding that it was important to send a “newer” ship because Australians are now accustomed to better quality vessels.
Visiting Sydney this week are two of the line’s top bosses, Francis Riley, Vice President and General Manager International, and Braydon Holland, Vice President Sales. “Australia is significant for us – it’s our fourth biggest international market after the UK, Germany and Spain, which is incredible,” Riley said.
He said the 2500-passenger Pride of America in Hawaii remained the number-one choice for Australians for two reasons. “Hawaii is our nearest destination to Australia, and we have exclusivity as the only ship offering inter-island cruising without having to touch a US port such as Mexico, which adds four or five days to our competitors’ itineraries.”
Riley also underlined the special features debuting on the new 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway, such as The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place. “Decks 6,7 and 8 will become the hub of the ship, with alfresco dining around deck 8, and we will also have our first seafood restaurant,” Riley said.
The new concept includes an oceanfront boardwalk lined with shops, 17 dining venues and 12 bars and lounges spread over three decks. Breakaway will be home-ported year-round in New York, sailing weeklong cruises to Bermuda, from April 2013.
Norwegian Pearl, which is to be based in New York this week, will move out when Breakaway moves in. Itineraries for the second new ship, Norwegian Getaway, launching in 2014, is yet to be revealed.
Source: Cruise Weekly, Tuesday 20 March 2012