Norwegian Cruise Line is now attracting families who traditionally took bucket-and-spade holidays, thanks to its premium all-inclusive fare.
Nick Wilkinson, NCL’s vice president and UK & Ireland managing director, said he had been forced to take stock and listen after being inundated by new agents selling its cruises.
Reflecting on the impact of the introduction of the new all-inclusive fare, Wilkinson told Travel Weekly: “Your distribution changes from what we had before, because we have got premium all-inclusive, agents find [NCL] an easy sell.”
Asked how many new agent partners NCL now had, Wilkinson said: “All I can say is we have got double digit growth in the long tail in the agents that are supporting us.
“That is right across the board – that is strong growth in the independents and multiples.
“If you look at the beach holidays there is a lot of interest in us. People are realising that the value is included in the actual cruise.
“Families are booking so far in advance to get that those family cabins.”
Speaking at a media event in London on Wednesday night, Wilkinson hailed Bliss as the “most successful new ship in the line’s history”.
“If you are looking comparatively at how well ship to ship it has sold,” he said. “Bliss was the most sold ship we have ever had before it had launched.”
Wilkinson added that the UK trade would be invited on a two-day shakedown sailing on Norwegian Encore from Bremerhaven to Southampton in October next year.
The Breakaway-plus class vessel is scheduled to complete its conveyance in September 2019.
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