Norwegian Cruise Line Launches New Identity

Travel Agent was on site Tuesday for a Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) Corporation Ltd., press conference in which the company unveiled a new brand identity for the first time in nearly a decade to promote Freestyle Cruising. Andrew Stuart, NCL's executive vice president of marketing, sales and passenger services says next year's campaign will cost in the range of $100 million. NCL will unveil its new marketing strategy for Freestyle Cruising to its travel partners on Oct. 2. Although the product was first introduced in 2000, Scott Rogers, NCL's senior vice president of marketing and sales, says the launch is necessary, since many agents aren't aware that set itineraries on cruise ships can keep people from booking a cruise vacation. Freestyle Cruising gives passengers the ability, for the most part, to plan their own day—when they will eat dinner, how long they will sleep, how long they will spend on excursions, and more. Rogers played a promotional clip of NCL's ad campaign, in which passengers from a nameless cruise ship were synchronized to sit, stand, walk and eat at exactly the same pace, while NCL's passenger's were displayed lounging and relaxing at their own pace, each doing some different. "When we showed this to cruisers and noncruisers," Rogers says, "the cruisers laughed and said, 'That's exactly how it is on a cruise,' and the non-cruisers said, 'That's exactly why I never wanted to go on a ship.'" For agents who sign up with NCL, various educational materials on the new marketing campaign will be mailed and online informational tools will be available as well.