NCL thanks agents for ‘outstanding’ contribution to Walk for Wellness scheme

Norwegian Cruise Line has thanked agents for walking nearly 100,000 miles in May and raising £15,000 for Abta LifeLine and the ITAA Benevolent Fund.

In its inaugural UK Walk for Wellness scheme, the cruise line challenged the trade to collectively walk 40,000 miles in the month of May to encourage agents to spend time outside as well as raise awareness of mental health challenges.

Agents had smashed the 40,000 miles target by May 16, prompting NCL to donate £10,000 to Abta Lifeline and £5,000 to the ITAA Benevolent Fund.

More: NCL releases Asia Pacific, Australia and New Zealand collection

The line encouraged its trade partners to continue walking to support their own mental health and be in with a chance to win some prizes, and by May 31, more than 1,200 agents were involved in the scheme and had walked a total of 98,000 miles.

Agents have shared their personal success stories from the month.

Barrhead Travel Group’s Barry Gemmell completed 823 miles on his own – the equivalent of a marathon every day for 32 days.

“I would squeeze in walks wherever I could, before work, after work, on holiday, lunchtimes,” he said. “It’s been a major incentive to keep active both for myself and for a great cause. I feel fitter now in my fifties than when I was in my twenties. Age is not a barrier to being the best version of yourself.”

He added: “I was doing so many miles that the NCL team had to check if the app was faulty, but no, I really was walking from 6am to midnight each day.”

Cormac Meehan, from Cormac Travel, said he used the Walk for Wellness scheme to shine a light on men’s mental health and began hosting walk and talk events with colleagues and friends, which he will continue to do even though the challenge is over.

“We’ve had some great conversations over the past month during our walks,” he said. “There’s such a strong link between fitness and talking to aid better health amongst men. This has become something we genuinely enjoy doing together.

“We will continue with a 5k walk and talk every Monday night, come hail, rain or shine.”

Blue Bay Travel’s Carly Cockburn said: “This initiative made me get out of the door every day and appreciate the fresh air. I’ve managed a 7k daily step average which I am chuffed with. I’ve learned there really is nothing better than a good stroll to clear the cobwebs.”

Gary Anslow, vice-president and head of UK and Ireland at NCL, thanked all the agents who got involved in the scheme for their “outstanding energy and enthusiasm”.

“We’ve raised money for two charities which directly benefit those in our travel industry and we’ve seen all our fitness levels surge, as well as our competitive streaks come out,” he said.

“We’re delighted that as well as NCL staff and agents, partners, children and four-legged pals have joined in and hopefully this is something that will continue to be a part of everyone’s lifestyle going forward.”

He added: “Watch out for Walk for Wellness 2025, we’re hoping to double this year’s result.”

Picture (from L-R): Anslow; Lindsay Haslehurst, World Travel Holdings; Kirsty Webb, NCL; and Alison Earnshaw, World Travel Holdings

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