With a new addition to its cruise fleet about to come on stream, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is focused on customer choice, individuality and sustainability. Kevin Bubolz, Managing Director Europe at NCL, tells us about new cruising concepts presented at ITB Berlin.
First of all Freestyle Cruising, our hallmark cruise concept of unrivalled freedom and flexibility at sea. While so many things in life are determined by others or our daily responsibilities and duties, vacations with NCL are designed to cater to our guests’ individuality, allowing them to let loose and enjoy holidays at their own terms. How do we do that? By building our fleet to offer guests a greater gastronomical variety (up to 28 dining options and 22 bars and lounges), while at the same time eliminating formalities such as fixed dinner times, seating orders or dress codes.
How are itineraries evolving? What’s new?
Later this year, we will be launching the latest addition to our worldwide fleet – Norwegian Encore. Beginning in November, she will be offering seven-day voyages to the eastern Caribbean out of Miami. We are also expanding our presence in Europe by deploying a sixth ship in the region – Norwegian Pearl. She will offer varied itineraries to northern Europe and the Baltic Sea from her home port Amsterdam and will also embark on a variety of Mediterranean sailings from Rome, Barcelona and Venice. In summer 2020, Norwegian Escape will make her European debut offering nine-day cruises to the Baltics.
What has feedback been like on Norwegian Bliss?
Feedback for Norwegian Bliss has surpassed all our expectations. She is the most successful new build in our 53-year history. Guests love that she offers even more space per passenger and features spectacular facilities such as the 180-degree observation lounge.
MARINE CONSERVATION IS A VITAL PART OF OUR COMPANY’S GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMME
How is NCL becoming increasingly involved in marine conservation?
Marine conservation is a vital part of our company’s global environmental programme, Sail & Sustain. Some of our latest initiatives in this regard include our partnership with the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance, and the recent elimination of single- use plastic straws across our fleet as well as our two island destinations, Great Stirrup Cay and Harvest Caye. We are saving over 50 million plastic straws each year with this change and are working on further initiatives to be announced in our next sustainability report in April.
How important is ITB Berlin as a platform to reach the world’s travel professionals?
ITB is the most important industry platform for us in Europe, where we meet partners and guests from all over the continent
Hall 25 / Stand 160
Photo: Kevin Bubolz, Managing Director Europe, Norwegian Cruise Line