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Norwegian’s Del Rio forecasts ‘another blockbuster’ Alaska season

By: Anne Kalosh, Seatrade Cruise News

February 21, 2018

Appealing to families and millennials, Alaska has ‘a lot going for it,’ Frank Del Rio said

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings made no secret of how well it did in Alaska last year, propelled by the new Norwegian Bliss. This year it’s adding Bliss sister Norwegian Joy to the mix, which also includes Norwegian Jewel.

Ovation and Royal Princess, too

At the same time, other brands are beefing up, with Royal Caribbean deploying Alaska’s first Quantum-class ship, Ovation of the Seas, and Princess Cruises scheduling its biggest Alaska season and the biggest ship it’s ever had there, too (Royal Princess).

Even with two years in a row of double-digit capacity increases for Norwegian and the industry in Alaska, ‘We expect another blockbuster season,’ Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of NCLH, said Thursday.

Norwegian Joy’s repositioning to Alaska has heightened attention to the market and the brand, and the ship is booking well at higher prices compared to the smaller vessel it replaced despite the condensed nine-month booking window.

‘Even Jewel is doing better than ever,’ he added.

‘Go-to, must-have destination’

‘Alaska has become a go-to, must-have destination on your bucket list, especially for families,’ Del Rio said, noting that NCL’s ships are designed for families. ‘Millennials love the outdoors and environmentally-oriented destinations, so [Alaska] has got a lot going for it.’

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