A little more than a year ago, Norwegian Cruise Line was celebrating its first China-based ship, Norwegian Joy, at a ceremony in Shanghai. Everything at the christening - ship included - had been customized for the market.
On Wednesday, Norwegian was singing another tune. The operator announced a series of deployment changes that will see the 3,883-passenger Norwegian Joy leave China in April for the more lucrative waters of Alaska. Eventually, the ship will be replaced in China by a much smaller vessel that will sail there seasonally, but Norwegian will have no vessels in the country for about a year.
“China’s a good market. But it’s not as good as Alaska,” Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Andy Stuart told Skift in an interview. “In this business, particularly when you’re not the biggest, we don’t have 100 ships where we have to have a significant deployment essentially in every region around the world. We can be a little more opportunistic in how we deploy the fleet.”
The changes will also see a ship sail from Amsterdam for the first time, send another to Australia and New Zealand, and a third to Singapore and Hong Kong.
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