NCL’s Herrera: Optimize Cabin Mix and Deployment for Higher Yields

Norwegian Aqua Float Out

“You have to win a little bit more every single day,” said David Herrera, president of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Herrera, speaking at the company’s investor day event in New York City, talked about five key points in driving more yield, including a better cabin mix, optimized deployment, enhanced revenue management, data-driven marketing and maximizing the customer spend through their journey.

“When people dream about taking a cruise, they don’t dream about an inside cabin,” said Herrera. “They are willing to pay a premium (for a balcony). In fact, the average balcony sells for double the price of an inside cabin.

“That’s why as we build our ships, we focus on a richer cabin mix. A ship that has a higher balcony mix will generate a higher yield. It’s as simple as that.”

Herrera said that by 2026, two-thirds of NCL cabin mix will be made up for balcony category or higher staterooms.

Herrera said that itineraries were drivers of decision-making in the cruise booking process.

“Our fleet expansion allows us to maintain and excel in our strong market position in high-yielding markets such as Europe and Alaska,” said Herrera.

But he also pointed to new capacity coming in the Caribbean for the brand in the week-long and short cruise market.

By 2026, eighty percent of NCL’s deployment will embark at the same 10 homeports, up from 65 percent in 2023, he said, noting efficiencies in fuel, provisioning and other areas.

“More consistent deployment will lead to overall higher yields,” he said.

Herrera then pointed to Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island, where the company will add a two-ship pier in time for the 2025-26 season.

“We’re not trying to build the world’s largest theme park on our Bahamian paradise,” said Herrera. “We’re going to add new amenities and new features.”

Herrera said that guests were asking for more Caribbean options.

“The fact that we are increasing (the size) of our fleet, gives us the opportunity (to do that),” he said.

Great Stirrup Cay will host 700,000 guests in 2026, up from 400,000 in 2023.

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