Norwegian Cruise Line: rivals copy us

NCL’s new entertainment includes Beatles tribute band

The international boss of Norwegian Cruise Line says he has no worries about competition in the European market, telling TTG Digital that rival cruise companies are constantly “looking over their shoulder” and imitating Norwegian’s on-board entertainment.

Francis Riley, Norwegian Cruise Line’s new vice-president international, was speaking in Liverpool, on the day the company announced an entertainment refresh for Epic, which will be moved to Barcelona next April.

“They look over their shoulders at what we’re up to because we’re always pushing the boundaries. We had Rock of Ages [on Breakaway], and now all of a sudden there seems to be something quite similar on another ship,” he said.

Epic will host two new shows: Burn the Floor in April and Priscilla Queen of the Desert – The Musical from October. These will be joined by a new entertainment venue based on the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool, where The Beatles made their name.

Riley said the decision to introduce the new venue was part of the “Europification” of the ship.

“One of the biggest things is The Beatles tribute band and as part of the dry-dock in September next year we’re going to rip out Fat Cats, which is a jazz club, and make a replica of the Cavern. It’s going to become a fantastic new venue,” he said.

Earlier this year the line announced it would base its biggest ship in Europe year-round, demonstrating its support for the continent. Also in Liverpool last week, Norwegian played host to 17 agents in celebration of its annual “More than a Million” event, honouring agents that have sold more than a million euros’ worth of Norwegian cruises this year.

“Our relationship with agents has never been stronger, since we introduced Partners First in the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy,” Riley said. “They really are the backbone of what we do.”

TTG Digital

[photo courtesy Norwegian Cruise Line]