Norwegian Cruise Line recently expanded its tour offerings in Bermuda in anticipation of its newest ship, Norwegian Breakaway, setting sail this May. The cruise line added a variety of new excursions only available to guests on Breakaway. There are 30 unique shore excursions offered in Bermuda including the new “Island Fever” theater show, a guided driving tour and stand up paddle boarding.
We spoke with Camille Olivere, SVP of sales for Norwegian Cruise Line to learn more.
Prevue: Tell about your newest ships.
Camille Oliviere: The Norwegian Breakaway and the Norwegian Getaway are our newest ships and two of our three large ships. The new Norwegian Breakaway holds 4,028 passengers and 1,595 crew members. The ship will set sail from New York in May 2013. The Getaway is an exact replica and will began sailing out of Miami in February 2014.
Can you tell us about unique shore excursions for groups?
What’s new is the new Bermuda excursions are exclusive to the Breakaway. For instance, we have added golf excursions to some of the Breakaway stops in Bermuda, but we customize them for any group going to Bermuda on any of our ships. We can design any type of event that we are capable of executing, we love doing that for groups.
The hot new excursion for groups is paddle boarding. We like to set up team racing for groups and award prizes. It really gets the crowd going and it’s a great bonding experience. Paddle boarding is pretty easy to do and it can get pretty addicting. You can even do it on your knees. It’s something that all age groups can participate in and there are ways to simplify it.
When we go to the private islands we can weave in some activities like a mini-Olympics. It’s an active way to get groups working with one another and it’s a lot of fun.
For groups looking for something more relaxed we offer private boat tours with a captain. We customize the delivery of the program so that it fits the vibe of the group. There are multiple boats to choose from and we can double up for larger groups.
Can you tell us about what Norwegian is offering for meetings?
One of our favorite venues is Spice H20, a multi-level, open air venue on the back of the ship. We can host up to 1,000 in that space. It’s great for awards ceremonies because there’s a state-of-the-art sound system and a large movie screen. We’ve had some events on the Norwegian Epic where we have covered the pool and used it as an entertainment area within Spice H20. We can block that area off for a group specifically on our three large ships: the Getaway, the Epic and the Breakaway.
Although we have meeting space on the ships, we typically use the dining facilities for meetings. On our large ships we can work with planners to create a meeting during the non-dining times inside the restaurants. The Breakaway, the Epic and the Getaway also have indoor theaters. We can work with our hotel operations to see when they are available for groups to use. The theaters seat between 600-787 .
Does Norwegian offer any special experiences that planners should keep in mind for groups?
The Breakaway, the Getaway, the Epic and all Jewel Class ships have a private access area called The Haven. It’s an exclusive area that can be bought out for the whole group or VIPs. The Haven comes with a private concierge and butler service. It’s almost like a ship within a ship. There are between 20-70 suites, a private pool, workout facilities and restaurant.
What about charters?
We have several ship charters with the Norwegian Pearl booked. Kid Rock is hosting a group party on the Pearl. Once a group hits over 2,000 guests, we like to do a charter so that they can really take over the whole ship.
What are some cool dining options for groups?
We don’t have set times for meals. Groups can come and go as they please or make a group reservation ahead of time. For large groups we can do a buyout or set up a dine around at several of our restaurants, that way they are exposed to all the different dining options.
Can you tell us about the value in cruising with Norwegian?
There’s no way that you can get the value from a land package like you can on a cruise package for a group. You have a much better idea of the overall cost. To make it all inclusive, you can buyout a restaurant, buy liquor packages, etc. Our crew really goes all-out to make sure that group events are a great success.