When asked whether the line planned to develop its ex-UK capacity following the positioning of Norwegian Jade out of Southampton in 2017, Harry Sommer, executive vice-president, international business development, said “We are going to be announcing soon, so probably yes.”
Sommer said Europe was one of the line’s areas of focus for increased capacity along with Alaska and Asia, highlighting that these were areas where NCL had fewer ships than its competitors.
In 2022 the line will deliver the first of its Leonardo-class ships, which will have a smaller capacity of 3,300 passengers compared with its Breakaway-class, which carry 4,000.
In a presentation to the trade during the inaugural Norwegian Bliss sailing, president and chief executive Andy Stuart said the decision meant the line didn’t need to “find 4,000 passengers in order to open up a new destination”.
Stuart added that the new class of ships will be part of NCL’s plan to “grow substantially but in a disciplined way.”
He highlighted the opportunity this presented for agents saying: “We are going to expand by 50% by 2027 so if your business is not growing at this rate then you are losing share.”
Speaking to TTG, Sommer, said: “One of the things Andy alluded too with ships this size is that there’s only maybe a dozen places in the world where you can turn these ships around successfully because you need a large terminal building, you need a certain length of pier. So we really think this new class of ship is going to allow us to double down on some of these regions that I mentioned.”
He added: “I’m personally very excited for Europe and I think [Leonardo-class] can make a huge impact on the European market.”