Special Report: Norwegian to ramp up UK marketing

Special Report: Norwegian to ramp up UK marketing

Norwegian Cruise Line plans to boost its marketing to consumers and start sailing in Asia as it prepares to launch Norwegian Escape. Jennifer Morris reports from Papenburg, Germany

Norwegian Cruise Line has unveiled plans to increase consumer marketing in the UK and sail again in Asia for the first time in more than a decade.

The line is preparing to launch new ship Norwegian Escape in October and expects its inaugural celebrations in Southampton, and the presence of Norwegian Star and Norwegian Epic in the UK later this year, to boost the profile of the brand here after a quieter period in terms of ship launches.

The festivities around Escape, Star and Epic have been dubbed ‘the season of Norwegian’.

Consumer marketing

Andy Stuart, Norwegian’s president and chief operating officer, said the line would boost consumer marketing in the UK. He said more effort was needed to make customers think about Norwegian before it is recommended to them by agents.

Speaking in Papenburg, where Norwegian Escape is being built, Stuart said: “Most of what we have been doing previously is marketing to travel agents, which relies on them recommending our product when a customer walks in.

“Our goal now is to spend more time working on sending customers into travel agents asking for our product, through things like direct mail and digital advertising. We probably won’t do this through television at this point, but never say never.”

Stuart said moving Norwegian’s UK office from London to Southampton in June led to some people leaving the business.

“A lot of senior employees moved with us, which we are thrilled about, but some staff chose not to because they had built lives in London,” he said. “We were disappointed to lose them but we are replacing them with people local to Southampton.”

New features

Norwegian Escape, which will be Norwegian’s largest ship, will feature a larger version of the The Haven By Norwegian area, and new tapas and Cuban restaurants.

The line also plans to introduce a new children’s programme, provided by Kings Foundation, after ending its tie-up with Nickelodeon.

Asia office

Norwegian also has its sights set on new international markets.

Following the announcement that it would be setting up an Australian office, Andy Stuart revealed to Travel Weekly that the line had also set about building a team in Hong Kong.

Norwegian this week announced its 2016-17 programme will include new destinations and ports including cruises to Asia on board Norwegian Star, with itineraries departing from Istanbul, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney and Auckland, as well as first-ever visits to the Gulf and India. The Asian sailings will be Norwegian’s first in the region since 2002.

Bill Harber has taken on the role of senior vice-president and managing director for Asia, moving from Carnival Asia, where he was vice-president of market development.

Norwegian Cruise Line has unveiled plans to increase consumer marketing in the UK and sail again in Asia for the first time in more than a decade.

The line is preparing to launch new ship Norwegian Escape in October and expects its inaugural celebrations in Southampton, and the presence of Norwegian Star and

Norwegian Epic in the UK later this year, to boost the profile of the brand here after a quieter period in terms of ship launches.

The festivities around Escape, Star and Epic have been dubbed ‘the season of Norwegian’.

Consumer marketing

Andy Stuart, Norwegian’s president and chief operating officer, said the line would boost consumer marketing in the UK. He said more effort was needed to make customers think about Norwegian before it is recommended to them by agents.

Speaking in Papenburg, where Norwegian Escape is being built, Stuart said: “Most of what we have been doing previously is marketing to travel agents, which relies on them recommending our product when a customer walks in.

“Our goal now is to spend more time working on sending customers into travel agents asking for our product, through things like direct mail and digital advertising. We probably won’t do this through television at this point, but never say never.”

Stuart said moving Norwegian’s UK office from London to Southampton in June led to some people leaving the business.

“A lot of senior employees moved with us, which we are thrilled about, but some staff chose not to because they had built lives in London,” he said. “We were disappointed to lose them but we are replacing them with people local to Southampton.”

New features

Norwegian Escape, which will be Norwegian’s largest ship, will feature a larger version of the The Haven By Norwegian area, and new tapas and Cuban restaurants.

The line also plans to introduce a new children’s programme, provided by Kings Foundation, after ending its tie-up with Nickelodeon.Asia office

Norwegian also has its sights set on new international markets.

Following the announcement that it would be setting up an Australian office, Andy Stuart revealed to Travel Weekly that the line had also set about building a team in Hong Kong.

Norwegian this week announced its 2016-17 programme will include new destinations and ports including cruises to Asia on board Norwegian Star, with itineraries departing from Istanbul, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney and Auckland, as well as first-ever visits to the Gulf and India. The Asian sailings will be Norwegian’s first in the region since 2002.

Bill Harber has taken on the role of senior vice-president and managing director for Asia, moving from Carnival Asia, where he was vice-president of market development.

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