Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the contemporary market unit in the Norwegian Cruise line Holdings group, will introduce the first purpose-built ship customised for the China market in 2017, CEO Frank Del Rio announced today during the CruiseWorld China summit in Shanghai.
The new ship will be the second of Norwegian Cruise Line’s 164,600 gross ton Breakaway Plus class and features the line’s unique style of cruising known as Freestyle Cruising. “Aboard NCL ships, Chinese guests will indulge in a resort-style vacation experience, with the freedom and flexibility to joyfully spend time doing whatever they wish, from enjoying world-class entertainment to fine Mandarin, Cantonese and Continental dining; from duty-free luxury shopping to participating in any number of incredible first-at-sea activities onboard; all on their own time schedule,” the company said in a statement.
The ship is currently under construction, at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. “Our new purpose-built ship for China will have characteristics that are authentic to Norwegian Cruise Line and yet distinctively Chinese in all of its sensibility,” said Del Rio.
“With this new ship, Norwegian will unquestionably offer our Chinese guests a superior product and introduce a new standard of innovation and excellence into the marketplace, with an unrivalled level of customisation for the Chinese consumer. It will perfectly suit what modern Chinese travellers value from an upscale cruise experience.”
Norwegian Cruise Line is widely recognised as the leading innovator in the cruise industry. Not only will Norwegian Cruise Line’s new ship offer the highest-level of purpose-built customisation, it will clearly be the most innovative ship ever built exclusively for the China market. With a capacity of 4,200 guests, this new Breakaway Plus-class vessel will provide the same sense of freedom and flexibility found on all Norwegian Cruise Line ships, but with experiences and amenities designed specifically with Chinese guests in mind, the company stated.
The level of customisation will go beyond the physical design of the ship. Working with partners in China and local experts on the subtleties of Chinese culture, Chinese guests who sail on this new ship will be provided with an unmatched quality-level for service, cuisine, entertainment and overall experience that is simply not available in the China market today. Additional details, including the ship’s name, homeport, accommodation, dining and entertainment will be shared in the coming months.
To better support the company’s expansion efforts in China, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has opened offices in Beijing (Guomao CBD) and Hong Kong (Quarry Bay) and today opens its Shanghai office in Xintiandi. These China-based offices support all three brands in the company’s portfolio – Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises which span the upper end of the contemporary, premium, and luxury cruise categories and relevant to each segment and each stage in the Chinese consumer life cycle.
“Our China offices house a dedicated leadership team uniquely focused on ensuring the success of our local travel agent partners, which is crucial to the success of our expansion in what will soon be the world’s second largest cruise market,” said Del Rio. “These offices will provide sales and marketing support to our travel partners whose customers not only wish to sail on our new China-based ship, but also on any of the incredible voyages around the world offered across our portfolio of brands.”
The new ship will be delivered in Spring 2017. Norwegian will take delivery of the line’s first Breakaway Plus class ship, Norwegian Escape, next week on 22 October. Two additional ships in this class are on order for delivery in 2018 and 2019