Norwegian’s ‘Itinerary Scarcity’ Strategy

Cruise Week

Many veterans in our industry point out how NCL has come such a long way from 10-15 years ago when its
ships were nowhere near the quality of the competition; the onboard product was mediocre and the company was a distant 3rd behind Carnival and Royal Caribbean in a 3 horse race in the Caribbean.

This week’s Q2 financial results revealed significant progress since the company joined forces with Regent and Oceania – and further announcements that Norwegian is expanding in meaningful ways. NCLH President & CEO Frank Del Rio told the investment community, “I’d like to focus on another related strategy: creating scarcity of offerings to drive higher yields.
Looking at the Norwegian brand, just yesterday we announced one of our most ambitious and diverse itinerary offerings in recent years. This diversified deployment is another example of exchanging of best practices between brands. In this case we are weaving in the concept of itinerary scarcity that has proven successful at Oceania and Regent into the Norwegian deployment strategy.”
Del Rio provided several examples demonstrating this itinerary concept. “First is diversification of offerings with an entirely new group of itineraries. Using the expertise of the Oceania and Regent itinerary development team, we have crafted a deployment plan for Norwegian Star to begin sailing to Asia and Australia, targeting western guests.”
Del Rio said Norwegian’s Star’s new deployment “replaces our lowest yielding 7 day product” and called it “one of the most exciting” for the Norwegian brand in recent years.
“During her repositioning and deployment, Norwegian Star will call on several ports in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand, including Copenhagen, Barcelona, Istanbul, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney and Auckland.”
The 2nd example is one of diversification of itineraries in some of Norwegian’s most popular homeports. “In the past, Norwegian was known for having 7 day identical and repetitive sailings... resulting in weeks and weeks of supply with no differentiation,” said Del Rio. “With this new deployment we have sought to slowly and methodically diversify our offerings while re-energizing homeports that have proven popular.”
As an example, he cited Norwegian Jade’s deployment to Tampa beginning October 2016. “Along with a base itinerary of 7 day western Caribbean voyages, we have added a variety of 8, 10 and 11 day voyages to the eastern and western Caribbean which will call on new ports not previously serviced by Norwegian from Tampa.”

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