• Norwegian Joy

Norwegian Joy (Photo : Getty Images)

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) partners with Alibaba Group, an e-commerce giant, to increase the awareness of cruising in China.

The deal was made shortly after the delivery of the Norwegian Joy, NCLH’s first purpose-built China ship.

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The NCLH-Alibaba partnership seeks to make Chinese travelers prefer Norwegian as a vacation choice.

The companies will also work together to offer Alibaba customers with new and online-to-offline (O2O) experiences at sea across Norwegian’s global fleet based in China.

According to Alibaba Group President Michael Evans, the initiative on NCLH 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,” he added.

Alibaba runs the largest online and mobile commerce in the world with almost half-billion monthly active users. It provides its consumers with a wide range of products and services.

People in China live, work and play on Alibaba. They purchase local and imported products through Alibaba and utilize its entertainment and lifestyle services which include travel, delivery of food and social networking.

“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,” said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of NCLH.

The partnership with Alibaba “complements our strong existing relationships with our loyal travel agents to provide unmatched insight into what Chinese travelers look for in a vacation experience,” NCLH China President David Herrera said.

The combination of Norwegian’s expertise in providing unforgettable vacations, Alibaba’s knowledge on Chinese consumer behavior and the travel agents’ familiarity with Chinese traveler preferences will make a cruise product “unequaled in China.”

The launch ceremony of the Norwegian Joy is set on June 27 in Shanghai. The inauguration will feature the “King of Chinese Pop” Wang Leehom, the ship’s godfather.

The NCLH hopes that, as it partners with Alibaba, the awareness of cruising in China will get a boost.