While researching for by last article on Royal Viking Line I found that at one point Norwegian Cruise Line had acquired AIDA before selling it back less than two years later. I don’t think any cruise ship has transformed cruising as much as AIDAcara.
2012 is nearly upon us, so what do we have to look forward to in the next year. Well five new cruise ships will be joining the oceans, Norwegian Cruise Line will be listing on the stock market and Costa Romantica will emerge as Costa NeoRomantica, after a daring refurbishment. So heres our guesstimations for the next year:
In the wake of the collapse of American Airline into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, I wondered if it was possible for a cruise line to perform a similar maneuver.
Now in the United Kingdom this came as a bit of a shock, the fact American hadn’t been into bankruptcy like Delta and United made us believe it was financially viable like our own British Airways, or Air France KLM. However we may have been distracted by the near collapse of Thomas Cook Group PLC, who needed to restructure its finances.
Our last blog, On Where does Princess fit? made me us think about how cruise lines have moved an developed their brand positioning. In Bob Dickinsons ‘Selling The Sea’ [We’ve got a blog for that] it covers how Norwegian Cruise Line has changed it’s brand positioning.
From Memory we would say that Norwegian has had the most logos of any cruise line, but with some more research the ‘Freestyle’ cruise line hasn’t always been so laid back.
This advert from 1991 markets the ships in a slightly comic way, we think the joke at the end is just awful. But non the less.
However by 1995 Norwegian Cruise Line had grown up and sexed up. According to Bob Dickinsons ‘Selling the Sea’ this was because of Norwegians lack of new build orders, due to ongoing financial problems. The line had not launched a ship since 1993, while competitors where adding many new ships.
A change in management with a new President Adam Aron meant that NCL tried to differentiate itself from the competitors, so the slogan ‘Its Different Out Here’ was launched. The aim of the marketing campaign was to take the emphasis off the ship and put it on the benefits of taking a cruise.
The campaign was well received by the advertising industry, but less so by the cruise industry, who believed that NCL were overselling themselves. From the adverts it appeared that NCL was equivalent to Seabourn or any other premium line. Other said the campaign scared people away from cruising as to ‘snobby’.
Now in the 21st Century NCL promotes itself as a freestyle cruise line, decidedly different, we believe, from its previous advertising. However we believe that this position in the market suits it well. [We Have A History of NCL Blog]
Cunard Line has transformed itself from a transatlantic carrier into a premium cruise line, In the 1950’s passengers sailed on the Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, but they were not the luxury ocean liners that they are now portrayed as, these ships had three classes. We don’t believe that 3rd Class was as luxurious as Cunard’s current product. The modern-day equivalent being airplane economy class.
Recently Royal Caribbean has transformed its self from an Upper-Mass Market cruise line into a Mass Market cruise line. This change started with the Voyager of the Seas, and has continued on both the Freedom and Oasis class.
Previously Royal Caribbean prided itself on all the free items you receive in your cabin, now they pride themselves in being innovative and modern. Royal Caribbean has they way it is perceived. If you compare the Vision class ships with the Oasis class you can see how much Royal Caribbean’s product has changed, it is so significant that Royal Caribbean has launched the Royal Advantage refurbishment program to bring the fleet into line. [We have a blog for that too]
Changing a market position for a cruise line is difficult, In our ‘The Rise and Fall of’ Series we pointed out how Premier changed their market positioning more times than the weather, which probably assisted its demise [Check that blog here]
It was the Top Ten Cruise Adverts blog that inspired us to do this blog! – http://networkedblogs.com/mlBUf
Well the hype of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Project Breakaway appears to have hit a peak today, with CruiseCritic interviewing NCL CEO Kevin Sheehan about what might and might not be carried over from Norwegian Epic. You can find the link at the bottom of this post.
To create additional hype NCL was using the twitter hashtag #nclpb to keep people updated, but it is set be a busy night with #cruisechat occurring at the same time.
Before this announcement there has been alot of speculation about these vessels, which are to be smaller than Norwegian Epic, is that they will be built at Meyer Werft in Germany.
NCL is returning to Meyer Werft having built Epic in STX France, Meyer Werft has a large amount of new build orders from a variety of lines, including Disney, NCL, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. The last vessel Meyer Werft built for NCL was the Norwegian Gem. They will be the largest cruise ship ever built in Germany, taking the title away from Disney’s Disney Dream.
The Project Breakaway vessels will have approximately 4,000 passenger berths. At 143,500 gt these vessel will be large ships indeed, significantly bigger than the other ships in the NCL fleet (other than EPIC). In his interview with CruiseCritic NCL CEO Kevin Sheehan commented how this was appearing to be a standard size with Royal Caribbean’s Project Sunshine being of this size.
This announcement showed us some of the staterooms for the vessels, which are being described as a Boutique Hotel at Sea, the ship is expected to have over 1000 Balcony Staterooms. It has also been confirmed that the toilets that have been so heavily criticized on Epic will not be making it onto the new vessels, but from the pictures it would appear that ‘new-wave’ cabin design will be making a reappearance (we believe), thought more refined. We really do like them and think they look very contemporary.
Cruise Critic Article – http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/articles.cfm?ID=1222&sr=us
Norwegian Cruise Line – www.ncl.co.uk
NCL PROJECT BREAKAWAY – http://www2.ncl.com/project-breakaway/overview
Our Norwegian Epic Blog – https://crociereuk.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/an-epic-idea/
Meyer Werft – http://www.meyerwerft.com/