Alaska and Europe are hot for NCL, according to Katina Athanasiou, chief sales officer, since travelers missed both bucket-list destinations this year. Speaking during a Signature Travel Network member update Tuesday, Athanasiou added that for Signature members, the Caribbean is currently the No. 1 selling destination, followed by short Bahamas cruises.
Athanasiou added that NCL has opened bookings further out than ever before, and 'demand is definitely still strong and it's growing.' She's particularly excited about a new Greenland/Iceland itinerary.
At Oceania Cruises, 'It's all over the place,' with some exotics in demand along with close-to-home destinations, like Alaska and Canada/New England, according to Nikki Upshaw, SVP sales.
Europe sales are 'a little bit lighter ... off and on' as COVID cases rise and fall there.
'We have set our sights on '22,' Upshaw said. The brand will launch its 2022 Europe and Americas program on Nov. 11. Upshaw singled out a couple 'really cool Holy Land cruises.'
'Our hottest destination right now is Japan ... Exotic itineraries are doing great,' Soy said, adding that customers stuck with those bookings through the pandemic and Regent has been able to build on exotics sales.
Summer 2022/winter 2023 itineraries will be launched next week.
Never letting up on customer messaging
The NCLH brands continued messaging to customers throughout the pandemic.
That nurtured a 'lot of green shoots,' as Soy put it. Regent sold out its 2023 world cruise, 143 nights with a starting price of $75,000, in a week of launch — something that's never happened before.
High stakes for Black Friday
'All three of our brands never stopped,' Upshaw added. Oceania hadn't been sure if a Memorial Day sale (late May) was too soon, but it proved the biggest in the brand's history, until its Labor Day promotion (September) 'shattered all records.' The stakes are high to top that with the upcoming Black Friday sale (late November).
'We anticipate (Black Friday sales) will really be the kick-off for wave,' Athanasiou said. 'Wave is what we make it, and wave is what we determine it will be. So I challenge everyone to amp-up and prepare your strategies and tactics now,' she told the Signature members. 'It's about executing, and executing flawlessly.'