Press Releases

Norwegian Cruise Line Puts Partners First

Cruise line details company-wide commitment to its travel partners

Miami   -    Apr 15, 2011   ---   

Norwegian Cruise Line ("Norwegian") today announced "Partners First," the company's corporate philosophy of putting its travel partners first at Cruise3Sixty, the official travel agency conference of the cruise line industry. Andy Stuart, Norwegian's executive vice president of global sales and passenger services, detailed how the company is putting partners first in three key areas: investment in long-term travel partner success; a complete focus on being easy to do business with; and a commitment to travel partners on direct business.

"Travel partners are an integral part of our business and putting them first is part of our DNA," said Stuart. "We felt that we needed to do a better job of communicating this philosophy to our travel partners so that they could clearly understand our commitment to them."

In terms of investment in agents' long-term success, the company committed $16 million toward new customizable marketing tools, increased marketing support, improved communication and keeping NCL University as the most robust travel partner education site and online community in the industry. The company is also investing in its outside sales team and expanding its inside sales team by 45% to dramatically grow the line's reach to ensure every single travel partner has a contact at Norwegian to help grow their business.

Norwegian is also focused on streamlining the booking process and is investing $7 million in new technology booking improvements for travel partners, along with guaranteeing all rate quotes, offering partners a competitive advantage with promotional groups and creating an email address ? askVivian@ncl.com ? where partner operational questions go direct to the company's vice president of passenger services, Vivian Ewart.

Stuart also outlined Norwegian's stance on direct business. "There's been a lot of noise in the marketplace recently about direct sales. We want to assure our partners that we do not use customer data from travel agent bookings for direct business. We will not contact our partners' clients to book directly with us," said Stuart. "Also, our direct business has no price advantage."

To ensure travel partners are aware of Norwegian's commitment, the company has engaged a dedicated trade agency, R&R Partners, to handle all aspects of the company's trade marketing and programs. R&R has handled aspects of Norwegian's trade program since 2008.

An open letter from Andy Stuart to travel partners will appear in a number of trade publications the week of April 18, 2011 outlining the company's commitment to travel partners. Travel partners are encouraged to visit www.partnersfirst.ncl.com to view a video of Stuart discussing "Partners First," along with an area for partners to post their comments with regards to the company's commitment. A new trade advertising campaign focused on "Partners First" will launch in May. The campaign will feature actual travel partners and will celebrate their knowledge and commitment to their clients.

"It's important that our travel partners understand that Norwegian is a new cruise line today with the entire company focused on guest satisfaction and putting our partners first," said Stuart.

About Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-year history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising, most notably with the introduction of Freestyle Cruising which has revolutionized the industry by allowing guests more freedom and flexibility.

 

Today, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. The Company contracted for two 4,000-berth vessels for delivery in spring 2013 and spring 2014.

 

Norwegian's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert,
Second City® Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams? & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

 

High resolution, downloadable images are available at www.ncl.com/pressroom. For further information on Norwegian Cruise Line, visit www.ncl.com, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, watch us on YouTube, or contact us in the U.S. and Canada at 888- NCL-CRUISE (625-2784).

 

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AnneMarie Mathews
Vice President of Public Relations
Public Relations Department
7665 Corporate Center Drive
Miami, FL 33126
305-436-4713
publicrelations@ncl.com