Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) has reiterated its commitment to the Chinese market, with ships from all three of the company’s brands scheduled to call at the country’s ports in next year.
Addressing the CruiseWorld China event in Beijing, NCLH’s president & CEO, Frank Del Rio, confirmed his company’s plans to operate NCL, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas cruise ships in China in 2017, marking what he called “a landmark year” for the company in China.
NCL’s Chinese operations will be given a further significant boost next year with the introduction of Norwegian Joy, the company’s first-ever ship built especially for the needs of Chinese passengers.
“2017 will be a landmark year for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings in China, as we are execute on our exciting plans to bring the first purpose-built ship for the outbound China market next year with Norwegian Joy, and also expand our port of calls in China across our three brands,” said Del Rio.
“To further our commitment, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises will all call on ports in China over the next 12 months. Four of our ships will bring nearly 7,000 international tourists to port cities in China in the next six months alone, including Hong Kong, Xiamen, Shanghai, Dalian and Tianjin – with even more calls to China’s ports scheduled for 2018.”
The NCL brand will deploy the newly-refurbished Norwegian Star to Asia in December 2016, bringing more than 2,300 international tourists to Hong Kong and Sanya during each of its 11- and 14-day cruises.
In February 2017, the upscale Oceania Cruises brand will deploy its 684-passenger ship Nautica in Asia, along with sister ship Insignia in March 2017. Luxury brand Regent Seven Seas will complete the company’s deployment in March 2017, with the 700-guest ship Seven Seas Voyager spending the spring season in Asia.
The 3,850-passenger Norwegian Joy will then start sailing from its Shanghai homeport on 23 June 2017, with a series of three-, four-, five- and six-night cruises to destinations in Japan and Korea. It will also offer a series of cruises from the port in Tianjin.
To support its Chinese expansion, NCL has also opened offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, and relocated several senior executives to the country, including its president for China, David Herrera.
“NCL strongly believes that the China market deserves the best and newest ship in our fleet. We have designed Norwegian Joy for our Chinese guests, taking the most popular features on our new ships and expanding and customising them specifically for this market,” Herrera commented.