Norwegian Cruise line Funnel
Photo By: Russell Otway

Norwegian Cruise Line has teamed up with Alibaba, the world’s largest online commerce company, and the popular Chinses site Taobao.

Be prepared to see more of NCL in China as the cruise line and Alibaba have signed a partnership deal. They plan to make it the preferred vacation choice among Chinese travelers in what is forecasted to become the cruise industry’s second-largest source market. The companies will also collaborate to provide Alibaba customers with new and unique online-to-offline (O2O) experiences at sea across Norwegian’s China-based and global fleet.

Michael Evans, President of Alibaba Group, said:

“We are pleased to partner with Norwegian Cruise Line on this tremendous initiative.” “Our expanded relationship is another example of how Alibaba is helping international brands to reach Chinese consumers through our robust data, marketing and technology. We look forward to further strengthening our collaboration with Norwegian in the future.”

This announcement comes just after the new Norwegian Joy, the first ever purpose-built NCL ship for the Chinese market. The ship was delivered on April 27 by the Meyer Werft Shipyard in Germany. Norwegian Joy which will feature the first ever racetrack at sea will celebrate her inaugural and christening gala ceremony on June 27 in Shanghai, featuring the ship’s Godfather, ‘King of Chinese Pop’, Wang Leehom.

Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, said:

“Since launching our first cruise over 50 years ago, Norwegian has grown to become one of the most storied names in leisure travel with groundbreaking innovations that have shaped the modern cruise industry.” “Our partnership with Alibaba will combine Norwegian’s history of innovation in the cruise industry and our entry into the Chinese cruise market with Norwegian Joy with Alibaba’s extensive knowledge of China’s consumer base and its unique ecosystem which continually reaches consumers in new and ever-expanding ways.”

Alibaba operates the world’s largest online and mobile marketplaces. Alibaba is much more than an e-commerce company, offering a wide range of products and services to its nearly half-billion monthly active users. In China, people live, work and play on Alibaba, buying local and overseas products, and enjoying its entertainment and lifestyle services – travel, food delivery and social networking.