HONOLULU -- The coming of Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America
and Pride of Aloha to Hawaii next year opens up a new way to
"Cruise and stay" programs, offered on NCL's three- and four-day
interisland itineraries, will give agents a fresh product to sell
to travelers looking for a different combination of
The ships will start sailing in Hawaii waters in the summer of
These ships will fly a foreign flag and will not need to visit a
foreign port, which means the ships will spend 96 hours in the
islands on a seven-day cruise rather than the current 45 hours,
giving passengers more time for shore excursions and shopping and
the opportunity for land stays.
With NCL estimated to bring 400,000 passengers to Hawaii by
2006, the impact on state tourism will be significant, according to
Andy Stuart, NCL's vice president of marketing and sales. Purchases
of hotel rooms through NCL alone will amount to $16 million by
2006, he said.
Stuart outlined the economic impact of NCL's new plans to
retailers, wholesalers, tourism officials and airline
representatives at Travel Weekly's annual Leadership Conference
last month at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort.
He talked about NCL's ability to draw visitors from east of the
Rockies and the pent-up demand for high-quality cruise products in
Hawaii as opportunities for retailers.
Stuart said the shorter cruises will draw families and younger
Just as NCL played an integral part in starting nonstop flights
to Honolulu from Denver, Stuart said the line will continue to work
with airlines to create more air seats to Hawaii. Marketing will be
aggressive and "lift will play a big part," he said.
Pride of America will have open-seating main dining rooms, eight
restaurants, an Internet Cafe, entertainment venues, three pools, a
spa and fitness center, children's facilities and spacious public
On five decks, 80% of staterooms will have an ocean view, and
85% will include private balconies.
"Both ships will be targeted at the general cruise population in
North America, but we also expect to attract conference and
incentive business with the top-quality facilities that have been
designed into the ships," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of
Seven-day interisland cruises start from $899; three-day cruises
begin at $499.
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