Norwegian Cruise Line has bolstered its sales and marketing team in a bid to increase awareness of its brand and gear up for its next generation of ships in 2010.
Nick Wilkinson has been promoted from head of sales to the new role of sales director, and Claire Riches has been made head of marketing. She had previously been interim head of marketing since December 2007.
Wilkinson will be supported by Ali Hills, who joins from American Airlines as national accounts manager for retail. Julie Newman joins from Disney to support Riches as marketing manager, and Roderigo Serrano joins from Carnival Cruise Lines as strategic business analyst.
NCL UK general manager Stephen Park said: “This is a critical time for NCL in the UK market and we are committed to maximising the potential for the brand’s growth.”
Riches, who has experience of running marketing campaigns for retailers such as B&Q, Dixons and Littlewoods, will be in charge of maximising exposure of NCL’s Freestyle Cruising concept.
Wilkinson, who joined NCL in 2002 as regional sales manager for the north of England, will lead a 16-strong sales team.
The shake-up comes as NCL rolls out its Partnership 2.0 survey to find out what the trade think of NCL and how the cruiseline can improve its service and awareness in the UK. Results are expected at the end of May.
NCL is launching its biggest deployment in Europe this year, with three of its newest ships sailing the continent this summer. Norwegian Jade will be dedicated to Europe year-round and is hoping to showcase its ship to as many agents as possible during its round-UK cruise in July.