The cruise line has ordered six Prima-class ships
Norwegian Cruise Line’s order of six Prima-class ships demonstrates its confidence in the future of the sector, according to the company’s vice-president of international sales and managing director.
Speaking at the ceremony for the launch of the line's newest ship, Prima, in Venice last month, Eamonn Ferrin said the line’s strong post-pandemic bounce-back has been bolstered by the addition of Prima to its fleet.
Sales for both Prima, which makes its inaugural sailing later this month, and sister vessel Viva, which is also under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard ahead of its launch next year, have given NCL cause for optimism after the Covid pandemic, said Ferrin.
“When we put Prima on sale it was the best-booked ship ever at launch, and that was in the middle of the pandemic,” he said. “Viva has also performed tremendously well since going on sale. The new class of ship is clearly drawing a lot of attention and customer demand worldwide and we’re feeling very confident about it.
“We work in an industry that has to plan years ahead for the long-term, and our order of six Prima-class ships shows we’re very confident the future of cruise is strong.”
Ferrin referenced Clia data that reveals the number of annual worldwide cruise passengers jumped from 17.8 million in 2009 to 30 million in 2019 to highlight his point.
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His confidence is bolstered by the “sheer quality of the Prima product”, which he believes will “elevate” both the guest experience and the line as a whole.
The new Prima cruise ship has an array of food and drink options on board, with 18 restaurants, 17 bars and the Indulge food hall, as well as the brand's luxury Haven area for premium passengers and a three-storey go-kart racetrack.
Ferrin went on to say the trade will play an integral role in the success of the Prima-class, adding the line is “committed” to continuing its close relationship with agents.
“We’ve spent 55 years operating with our travel partners and they’re still to this day our single biggest distribution channel,” he said. "We have a deep structural commitment to our travel partners and we love them dearly. We treat them as brothers and sisters and really enjoy working with them, as they do with us.”
A total of 10,000 cabins will be reserved for the trade across Prima’s inaugural sailings, to “help them succeed” in selling it, announced NCL chief executive Harry Sommer during a panel discussion aboard the vessel during its delivery event.
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