Norwegian Cruise Line will no longer pay commission on the full cruise fare, but sister brand Oceania Cruises will keep its program going.
“There are no plans to make any changes at this juncture,” said Tim Rubacky, who leads Oceania’s public relations.
Oceania quietly launched a six-month pilot program that eliminated noncommissionable fees (NCFs) from April through September, following the lead of NCL, which launched a no-NCF program that began in January 2023.
Oceania’s version was made available to 50 of the brand’s highest-producing agencies during the pilot program and has since continued, according to the line. Rubacky did not respond to questions asking if the program has been offered to additional agencies.
The line’s case for doing away with NCFs was focused on competition. Some of Oceania’s upscale competitors have never had NCFs, including Viking and the new Explora Journeys.
NCL, on the other hand, was the only contemporary line to scrap NCFs for qualifying agencies when it launched the program in early 2023. NCL senior vice president of sales John Chernesky said last week the program would conclude at the end of March, saying it did not result in strong enough growth in business to justify keeping it.
The funds used to support the program will be used in different ways, including marketing, he said.
Travel advisors have said they aren’t surprised the program is going away, but are disappointed to see it go.
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