s usines NCL), B P V l ( egiona ruise Lines ting R , n o ilkins t floa gian C Nick Wnt of Norwe dleton abou estment. pme or inv e Mid Develo ks to Georg ns and maj spea , future pla s resort
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NCL’s ships have been visiting the Kingdom for several years and, since 2007, the cruise business throughout the region has grown exponentially. Nick says the cruise line’s popularity is down to its unique approach. He explains: “Our competition is not the other cruise lines. It is land-based holidays. The reason we say this is because our style of cruising is very different to anybody else in the marketplace. Our objective is to recreate the facilities of a land-based resort by replicating them on this floating resort.
Kinky Boots, for instance, or even Jersey Boys. A number of the ships even boast a
“So, we’ve done away with the formalities that conventional cruises often have, including set dining hours and having only one major show. Instead we have 17 floating resorts. We’ve just launched the latest one, Norwegian Encore, and the best way I can describe this ship is that she has over 28 different dining options. This gives our guests the opportunity to choose the type of dining that suits them best.”
Beginning operations in 1965 and started as a privately-owned Norwegian family business, NCL is now a publically quoted company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The brand has always been an innovator in the marketplace; the first to own private islands in the Bahamas as well as off the coast of Belize. The USP (unique selling point) is ‘freestyle cruising’ with each of Norwegian’s ships designed and built from scratch in order to accommodate the unique facilities on board.
Dining options vary from an international variety including Italian, teppanyaki and seafood. Up to 50 per cent of the restaurants are included in the fare and the others have a supplement or à la carte. He continues: “There are up to 20 different entertainment options on board our liners. Passengers can see a Broadway show, like 44 February 2020
replica of the Cavern Club, under licence from the original in Liverpool, together with a Beatles tribute band. There’re bars, cocktail lounges and even a two-storey go-cart track operating with electric go-carts.” NCL’s 17 ships cover the world with unique floating resort facilities from Asia to Alaska, the Caribbean and, more recently, the company is repositioning cruises in the Arabian Gulf.
And the one thing customers talk most about is the quality of food. This is borne out by the fact that the highest number of pictures posted to Instagram and Snapchat feature food. NCL has two different types of vessels. The Jewel-Class ships carry 2,300 guests and are very much destination-oriented. They have 12
Newest ship - Norwegian Encore to 15 different dining and entertainment options on board. Then there are the Breakaway PlusClass ships, which can accommodate 4,500 guests offering 28 different dining options and 20-plus entertainment options. They are resorts in their own right with their itineraries being simply a bonus for most guests. A hospitality veteran, Nick has been in the cruise business now for more than 25 years and, as with many in the industry, came from a hotel background. He has worked with three cruise lines during his career and has been with Norwegian for 18 years. During this time, he has seen the industry mature dramatically and considers it an extremely exciting business to be involved in. Quizzed on perceived challenges facing the www.bahrainthismonth.com
Vol.24 - Issue 2 - Your guide to a great way of life