Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has formed a new partnership with e-commerce giant Alibaba as it prepares to make a splash in the Chinese cruise market.
Under the new agreement, NCL will make its Chinese voyages available via Alibaba’s online and mobile sites. The company said it plans to use the popular e-commerce platform to “engage consumers” and to “further increase the awareness in China of the unique offerings of a cruise vacation”.
The announcement comes as NCL prepares to enter the Chinese cruise market in June 2017, with the introduction of the 3,850 passenger Norwegian Joy – the company’s first cruise ship designed and constructed specifically for Chinese travellers.
“The partnership with Alibaba complements our strong, existing relationships with our loyal travel agents to provide unmatched insight into what Chinese travellers look for in a vacation experience,” said David Herrera, president, NCL China.
“The combination of Norwegian’s expertise in delivering memorable vacation experiences, Alibaba’s insights into Chinese consumer behaviour and our travel agents’ knowledge of the preferences of Chinese travellers will create a cruise product unequalled in China.”
Michael Evans, president of Alibaba Group, commented; “Our expanded relationship is another example of how Alibaba is helping international brands to reach Chinese consumers through our robust data, marketing and technology. We look forward to further strengthening our collaboration with Norwegian in the future.”
Norwegian took delivery of Norwegian Joy on 27 April, and the ship will be named in a major ceremony in Shanghai on 27 June. It becomes the 25th ship in NCL’s fleet across its three brands: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.