The Australian cruise market has spoken, and more lines are taking notice. Not only are our existing committed cruise lines sending more ships and concocting fresh itineraries and options, but other lines are making plans to expand their presence in Australia and the South Pacific. This means even more choice for Aussie cruisers!
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is a parent company representing three cruise brands: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. They recently announced plans to establish a sales and marketing centre in Sydney which will provide support to the three brands as they increase their presence in the region. Not only will the lines and potential passengers benefit from more advertising and visibility, but agents and local partners will receive more training opportunities and have the opportunity to form stronger relationships.
Industry veteran Steve Odell will be heading up the Australian centre as Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Australasia. His job is to ensure the continued growth of the company's presence in the region and to make sure that Aussie cruisers are informed of each cruise line's unique offerings.
Harry Sommer, Executive Vice President of international business for the company, said "In view of the growing international interest in cruising combined with our strong growth strategy, the new office in Australia is a natural step in our global expansion of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings."
Mr. Sommer expressed confidence that there is a place for each of the company's three cruise brands in the Australian market, and we are inclined to agree, as they all have a unique niche product to complement what already exists. He commented, "it reflects our confidence in the growing Australia and New Zealand markets and we believe that our three brands - Norwegian with freestyle cruising, Oceania Cruises as an upper premium product and Regent Seven Seas Cruises in the luxury sector - are all a perfect fit for the Australian market, offering a wide variety of experiences and worldwide itineraries."
The cruise lines
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line, commonly called NCL, is an innovator in the industry. Their "Freestyle Cruising" is all about offering choices for every taste and budget and promoting a fun, casual atmosphere onboard. It also has a very young and modern fleet which is recognisable by the colourful motifs and paintings adorning each vessel's hull. Single-occupancy cabins for solo cruisers are a major drawcard of NCL.
Based in Miami, Norwegian Cruise Line has mostly North American itineraries, including year-round Hawaii sailings, with a good range of Europe cruises too. Forays into the South Pacific have until now been quite limited, but we hope that will change with the increased focus on the Australian market. Take a look at our spotlight on NCL to learn more about this colourful line.
This upscale line offers somewhat of a middle ground between the top-notch (and very expensive) luxury all-inclusive lines and the premium mainstream lines. Its largest ships carry just 1,250 guests and its smallest just 684, giving them an intimacy that escapes other major cruise vessels. They have luxurious decor, gracious service and lots of gourmet dining options included in the cruise fare while offering liquor, shore tours and the like as extras so cruisers can reduce costs where they like.
Oceania already offers cruises in and around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, but a stronger presence in the region can only be good news for cruisers wanting to try the next step up the luxury ladder. Keep an eye out for Oceania cruises in 2016 and beyond!
Regent Seven Seas
This five-star line is billed as the most inclusive luxury cruise experience, and offers a truly unforgettable holiday. It starts before boarding with free luxury hotel stays and transfers to the ship, and continues as passengers are welcomed onboard with a complimentary bottle of champagne. On a Regent Seven Seas cruise, guests have access to unlimited shore excursions, all beverages including fine wines and top-shelf liquor, in-suite mini bars replenished daily, impeccable service, four gourmet restaurants, fitness programs and excellent lectures and entertainment, all included in the cruise fare.
The line offers a range of itineraries in the Asia/Pacific region, so Australian cruisers will have had the chance to experience the exquisite holidays of Regent Seven Seas here and elsewhere. Anyone looking for a top-notch luxury cruise would do well to consider a voyage with RSSC!