PHOTO: Potential Norwegian Yacht Voyages destination: West Point Island, Falkland Islands. (photo via Flickr/David Stanley)
First, it was Norwegian Cruise Company. Then it was Nordic Cruise Company. And now it’s Norwegian Yacht Voyages. The expedition line has not even launched yet, and it has already gone by three different names.
At first glance, this sort of schizophrenic approach does not bode well for the fledgling operation’s initial reputation. If the company cannot settle on a name, how can potential guests be expected to identify it?
As it turns out, the brand name is not the only thing that has changed since the company’s introduction. Original concept drawings of the fleet’s ships have also dramatically shifted. The schematic once outlined a traditional ice explorer vessel, but the latest drawings call for a far edgier modern design.
One thing that has remained consistent from the start? The company’s logo.
The asymmetrical red gradient banner is still plowed by an abstract rendering of a forward ship’s bow, and the typeface is mostly unchanged. Only the first letters of each word in Norwegian Cruise Company were uppercased before, but now Norwegian Yacht Voyages is universally uppercased, making an even bolder statement.
While it’s certainly understandable for such a changing company to be perceived as flighty, one could also argue that all these things are a sign of a very transparent brand.
It’s surprising but refreshing to see it invite the public into the earliest design stages, especially to those of us who relish any behind-the-scenes nuggets.
READ MORE: Forecasting Expedition Cruising’s Future
For those still left wondering what prompted all the name changes, the brand is even open to discussing the reason. When asked about it on its Facebook page, it responded with, “First [had] issues with NCL and now we have realized more and more that the words ‘cruise’ and ‘cruise line’ have horrible connotations in certain of our demographic target markets. AND, [it’s] better to do this now, before our real marketing efforts [kick] in.”
In a press release, the company further explained: “As our project of building four Expedition Mega Yachts is moving forward we saw the need to update our branding and profile to better identify and reflect on the products and services we intend to provide.”
In other words, the brand first wanted to differentiate from Norwegian Cruise Line and later from cruising altogether.
In fact, Norwegian Yacht Voyages currently carries the secondary tagline “World Wide Mega Yacht Expeditions.” So, by the time the first of its planned ships launch in May 2020, the company will be prepared to set sail internationally.
That the word “cruise” is perhaps passé goes to show that there is an increasing preference for “voyage” instead. This mimics Virgin Voyages decision to change its name from Virgin Cruises, also before launching. Thus, Norwegian is not entirely alone.
Until which time the design is officially locked in and the product is finally realized, the line invites everyone to follow along on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What’s more, the company is very engaging, so you might as well ask questions and share your thoughts too.
It has even recently responded to destination suggestions such as West Point Island in the Falkland Islands.
You never know what kind of impact you may have on a company open to such ideas. Caroline, for example, is set to be the named for the first vessel, but do you have any potential names for two, three and four?
In the meantime, it’s fun to follow along to see the company post graphics like “The Future of ‘Going Green’” that illustrates how its LNG-powered ships fit into the environmentally-friendly landscape.
This post first appeared on TravelPulse.