50 Degrees North mulls reviving NORD Journeys

Plus, long-standing ultra-luxe program available for those-in-the-know

Credit: NORD Journeys/ICE HOTEL Facebook

Nordic travel specialist, 50 Degrees North, is mulling the revival of its three-star program in response to demand for Norway, Finland and Iceland across all levels of travel.

Speaking exclusively with LATTE at Virtuoso AU/NZ Forum in Bangkok this month, Jayde Kincaid, Marketing Manager & Co-Founder, 50 Degrees North said the company – like many in the travelsphere – achieved its strongest January sales ever, “and it’s not getting any quieter”.

NORD Journeys was introduced by 50 Degrees North in 2019 following the demise of Bentours. The program, and its stable of new sales executives, were shortlived due to the arrival of the pandemic. NORD Journeys was subsequently paused, however with the team back larger than before COVID, Kincaid feels the time may soon be right to revive the brand.

Image courtesy of 50 Degrees North/Facebook

Subscribe to LATTE’s free eNewsletter to keep up to date with everything in the luxury travel industry.

“We employed a small team, we brought out a new brand, new branding, new brochures, but we never had the opportunity to realise the full potential of the product,” she told LATTE of NORD.

“Demand is coming back, including from our Bentours demand.”

“We’d shelved the three-star product but given the popularity, I’m thinking about bringing it back again,” Kincead revealed exclusively to LATTE.

At the broader end of the spectrum, 50 Degrees North also caters for the ultra-luxe market. The Melbourne-based business doesn’t amplify that message too much locally, but its operational arm in Lillehammer, Norway has a small team of specialists catering for ultra-high-net-worth individuals.

Image credit: Santa Claus Foundation/50 Degrees North

Kincaid says the ultra-luxe department caters for “really high-end travellers”, spanning uber-wealthy Americans, celebrities and royalty from the Middle East. Whereas the average Australian traveller may spend around $2,500 per day in the Nordic for a Christmas package, the ultra-luxe pricetag is closer to $90,000.

“There can be a bit of confusion in the trade as to where we sit in the market.”

“We don’t want to be everything to everyone but we are, purely because of the demand,” she said.

Kincaid says 50 Degrees North’s Northern Lights program is thriving, with “huge” demand this year and into next. The popularity is fueled by the ‘solar maximum’, a seven-year cycle that offers the best view opportunities and is expected in 2024 and 2025.

50 Degrees North’s itineraries in that region encompass no less than 5 to 7 days to increase the opportunity to see the Northern Lights. Guests tend to book two different locations, be it coastal or inland, to offer a mix of scenery and more or less cloud cover. “We don’t offer fly-in, fly-out packages of two or three nights,” she adds.

“We operate a lot of group tours to the Northern Lights. We transitioned them from Bentours and packaged them with Havilla and their three new sister ships on three-day itineraries,” she said of the coastal voyages. The firm also has options with Hurtigruten Norway.

50 Degrees North was recognised at the 2024 Virtuoso AU/NZ Forum as the Highest Tour Annual Growth, Partners winner - Pictured from left are Sophie Treasure, Virtuoso; Tietsa Stelma and Jayde Kincaid, 50 Degrees North, and Matthew Upchurch, Virtuoso.

Kincaid also encouraged travel advisors with clients interested in visiting Christmas in Iceland to secure space well in advance. While the volume of properties and inventory is quite large, 50 Degrees North’s allotment of rooms is “snapped up very quickly”. This year’s Christmas allocation is already exhausted.

The packages in Iceland are also offered pre- and post-Christmas, however she points out that while it is quieter, families with young children are often confused when seeing Santa Claus after 25 December each year. “Better to go pre-Christmas,” she suggests.

Winter packages also tend to include activities in the snow that are well beyond a 20-30 minute tour or excursion guests may find in other parts of the world, with excursions around 3-4 hours in length – “proper experiences and engagements,” she adds.

Nearly 10 years with Virtuoso on a global partnership, the benefit for 50 Degrees North’s Virtuoso-affiliated members is that they are given a priority in the company’s waitlist for replies.

At this month’s Virtuoso AU/NZ Owner Managers Forum, 50 Degrees North was recognised as the 2024 Highest Tour Annual Growth for partners (as pictured).

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WP to LinkedIn Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com