Oceania Cruises trialling commission on NCFs

NCLH CEO-elect Harry Sommer says company is "100% committed to the trade"

Oceania Cruises is evaluating the rollout of paying commissions to travel advisors on non-commissionable fares (NCFs), following the lead of sister brand, Norwegian Cruise Line.

Harry Sommer, CEO-Elect of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), revealed the move aboard the newly minted, 1,200-guest Vista during a town hall discussion with trade partners and media from around the globe, including LATTE.

Sommer – who is the incoming overarching leader of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises – made the revelation when highlighting his vision for the future in alignment with NCLH’s journey – centred around three core principles. The triple ‘Ps’ of People, Product and Partnerships, the latter heavily weighted on travel advisors.

Moderating a Town Hall aboard Oceania Cruises' Vista, Nikki F Upshaw, SVP Sales; Harry Sommer, CEO-Elect, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings; and Frank A Del Rio, President, Oceania Cruises

Subscribe to LATTE Cruise’s free eNewsletter to keep up to date with everything in the luxury cruise space.

On the principle of partnerships, the former front-line travel agent and most recently, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, said: “We are 100% committed to the trade. 100% committed to the trade,” he repeated.

“We don’t do anything to put them second. We put them first across all three of our brands – within the contemporary space [being Norwegian Cruise Line] to pay commission on non-commissionable fares.”

Given the success of that pilot with NCL, enacted by Sommer in November last year under that brand’s Partner First philosophy, he confirmed Oceania Cruises is trialling paying commission on NCFs.

“We’re now experimenting with it on the Oceania brand as well with some of our top accounts. Assuming it will work out – and I’m confident it will – we’ll find ways to expand that further to all of our trade partners around the world,” Sommer said.

“We’ll do everything in our power. Your success is our success,” Sommer said.

“We jointly can reach out to customers in unique ways to generate consumer

Harry Sommer, CEO-Elect, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

demand, lure guests to come on board because once you get guests to come on board, the product speaks for itself and both you and I have an annuity for life. Those guests come back over and over again.”

Harry Sommer, CEO-Elect, NCLH; Danielle Galloway, FCTG's Global MD of Luxury Leisure and Independent Brands; Frank A Del Rio, President, Oceania Cruises and Alison Lord, Travel Associates, Turramurra.

Sommer also expanded on the other two ‘Ps’ of People and Product.

He said ‘people‘ are “by far the most important” asset, with 40,000 staff across NCLH’s tri-brands, aboard 30 ships and various headquarters, from shipyards to the home office.

“They are super passionate about what they do. They bring the guest experience to life and deliver outstanding experiences.”

Sommer said he is also “super committed to developing female underrepresented minorities” acknowledging that in the past that focus “might have been a little bit neglected.” 

“We are all in to do what we can for the people to do great by them as they do great by our guests.”

Under the principle of product, Sommer said: “We believe across all three of our brands, focused mostly on Oceania but really an NCL and Regent as well, that we deliver the best product within our respective spaces.”

He said Oceania Cruises stands alone in the Upper Premium segment.

“I know there are other players but none of them have hardware like this. None of them have service like this. And then the food, destinations, the entire package – put together is what we believe to be quite a good value proposition…and we are committed to maintaining that high level of product.”

“Within the concepts of people, product, partnerships – we believe that we can have a huge success going forward,” Sommer concluded.

Australian trade partners aboard Vista applauded the decision. Rachel Kingswell, General Manager of Travel Associates, told LATTE: “Throughout the pandemic, Oceania Cruises looked after the travel advisor and this recent change further consolidates their commitment to creating and maintaining good relations with their key trade partners.

“It’s a win-win for everyone whilst at the same time keeping up with other players in the market,” Kingswell said.

Robyn Sinfield, Home Travel Company and CLIA Australasia’s recently crowned Cruise Champion commended the decision.

“It is a very good move for the Australian Cruise Industry, travellers and cruise agencies – especially for Oceania as it puts them on a level playing field with other cruise lines in their category,” Sinfield said.

“It takes away the complicated ‘O’Life Choice’ which was great when it was designed years ago but now causes more confusion for clients as it’s not inclusive and they have to decide and they never know what they prefer.”

“An excellent move by Oceania to keep them relevant and competitive in value – there is no question their onboard offering, especially their food (on all their vessels), is without doubt, exemplary,” she added.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WP to LinkedIn Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com