by Kevin Griffin of our London office writing for cybercruises.com
Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that the maiden voyage for its new 144,000-ton Norwegian Breakaway, the first of twins, will be a 7-night Transatlantic cruise on the traditional route from Southampton to New York on April 30, 2013.
For North Americans wanting to try two new ships, they can catch Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth, which is offering an 8-night crossing from New York to Southampton on March 30, and avail themselves of 23 nights weeks in Europe before sailing home on the maiden voyage of Norwegian Breakaway.
The Queen Elizabeth crossing is part of her return voyage from Australia in 2013. Now that kind of two-ship crossing could lead to some rather interesting comparisons.
The 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway will have forty-nine studio cabins for singles, a trend started by Norwegian Epic. She will be based in New York and will offer an inaugural season of 7-night Bermuda cruises from May 12 to October 6, 2013, replacing Norwegian Star in this trade. This will up the lower berth count on offer by Norwegian from New York by more than 75%.
Norwegian, by the way, wishes now to be known as “Norwegian” and not as “NCL” and is trying to train travel agents to say this. The latest line from its newly-appointed advertising agency is “Cruise Like a Norwegian” but we’re not quite sure what that means.
One thing is right however. Norwegian’s operating income for the third quarter of 2011 improved 18.3%, driven primarily by strong revenue performance across the fleet. Net revenue grew 4.6%, mainly due to an increase of net yield of 3.8% over 2010. The increase in net yield was driven by higher ticket pricing, which is a good sign to many.