Prima-class demonstrates NCL’s ‘confidence’ in sector

Norwegian Cruise Line’s order of six Prima-class ships demonstrates its confidence in the future of the sector, according to the company’s vice-president of international sales and managing director.

Speaking to Travel Weekly during the delivery ceremony for the eponymous maiden vessel in the class in Venice on July 29, Eamonn Ferrin said the line’s strong post-pandemic bounce back has been bolstered by the addition of Prima to its fleet.

Sales for both Prima, which makes its inaugural sailing later this month, and sister vessel Viva, which is also under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard ahead of its launch next year, have given NCL cause for optimism after the Covid pandemic, said Ferrin.

More: Norwegian Cruise Line to set aside 10,000 Prima cabins for trade

“When we put Prima on sale it was the best-booked ship ever at launch, and that was in the middle of the pandemic,” he said. “Viva has also performed tremendously well since going on sale.

“The new class of ship is clearly drawing a lot of attention and customer demand worldwide and we’re feeling very confident about it.

“We work in an industry that has to plan years ahead for the long-term, and our order of six Prima-class ships shows we’re very confident the future of cruise is strong.”

Ferrin referenced Clia data that reveals the number of annual worldwide cruise passengers jumped from 17.8 million in 2009 to 30 million in 2019 to highlight his point.

His confidence is bolstered by the “sheer quality of the Prima product”, which he believes “offers something for everyone” and will “elevate” both the guest experience and the line as a whole.

He noted the array of food and drink options on board – with 18 restaurants, 17 bars and the Indulge food hall – the luxury Haven area for premium passengers and the three-storey racetrack, which “appeals to the young at heart”.

Ferrin went on to say the trade will play an integral role in the success of the Prima-class, adding the line is “committed” to continuing its close relationship with agents.

“We’ve spent 55 years operating with our travel partners and they’re still to this day our single biggest distribution channel,” he said.

“We have a deep structural commitment to our travel partners and we love them dearly. We treat them as brothers and sisters and really enjoy working with them, as they do with us.”

A total of 10,000 cabins will be reserved for the trade across Prima’s inaugural sailings, to “help them succeed” in selling it, announced NCL chief executive Harry Sommer during a panel discussion aboard the vessel during its delivery event.

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