Akansha Pandey | New DelhiSince Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) Ltd. has established its India office in Mumbai, the brand has seen tremendous double-digit growth from India year on year. Out of its three brands, Oceania Cruises has certainly caught the fancy of the experiential upper middle-class in India and is gradually picking pace. Both leisure and MICE travellers have been increasing very rapidly on Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). Regent Seven Seas Cruises too, is receiving a tremendous response and generating good business from the Indian market. Featuring all-balcony suite accommodation, Regent Seven Seas Explorer was launched last year and has been the brand’s most luxurious ship ever built.Felix Chan, Vice President of Sales-Asia, NCLH agrees that India is definitely the fastest growing market in Asia for the brand and the revenue per guest from India is even higher than that from travellers in the US. This year Norwegian has reported better growth in the number of booking from India as compared to the same period last year. Booking 45-60 days prior to sailing, Indian passengers have now matured and begun to realise the benefits of early bookings with savings and good availability of rooms.“The business growth from the Indian market is very strong. We started from a relatively small base but the business has been growing at an encouraging pace. NCL has seen an increase in the number of guests and revenue per guest from India. Indians are booking higher category of suites and preferring experiential travel. Once they upgrade to the higher cabin category they never look back. Undoubtedly, in India the potential for us is huge to drive the revenue per guest, particularly for Regent the growth of which has been phenomenal,” he remarked.The social-event business and incentive groups are picking up from India as they gain immense value by booking a cruise which is all-inclusive and eventually caters to their major requirements of cost and logistics. Off late, Chan confirmed that they are targeting families from India. “We have seen an enhanced demand trend during the summer holidays in May and June for cruising in Alaska, Europe, Mediterranean, Baltic regions, Miami and Florida (for Disney), followed by Bahamas and Caribbean. Overall, anything less than 12 days fits the bill for Indian travellers. They prefer short stays on for 4-5 nights across our brands,” he revealed.On the expansion front, the company will introduce seven additional ships through 2025 and has an option to introduce two additional ships for delivery in 2026 and 2027.NCHL’s first cruise ship custom-built with features and amenities for the ultimate Alaska cruise experience – Norwegian Bliss will sail beginning June 2. She will spend her summer sailing seven-day cruises to Alaska and fall season cruising to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles. In winter of 2018, she will sail to the Caribbean from Miami, and in the 2019 fall/winter season, she will cruise from New York City to Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean.In October, Norwegian Jewel ship will be based in Singapore for seven days. This is the first time and it has already grabbed the attention of the travellers in the region, claims Chan.
The offseason upgrades to the Arizona Cardinals’ run game didn’t lead to much optimism heading into Week 1 of the NFL season — not that they weren’t positive improvements on paper.An injury to left guard Mike Iupati, the team’s biggest free agent signing, and suspension to right tackle Bobby Massie were assumed to put any judgment about those upgrades on hold. But the replacements have been surprisingly effective. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Keim will defer to Arians in making the final call, and that decision will be a firm one. There won’t be an open competition for the starting spots.“Once we decide it’s over,” Arians said Monday on the Bickley and Marotta show. “It’s a matter of just moving on.”The run game indeed has thrived behind the Cardinals’ offensive line. It’s helped Arizona also feels improved at tight end and running back from a year ago.Want the numbers?The Cardinals are averaging 4.4 yards per carry through two games, which is tied for ninth place in the NFL.In Arizona’s 48-23 win against the Bears on Sunday, Arians’ team rushed 28 times to 24 passing attempts. Without starter Andre Ellington, who is out with a knee injury, backup Chris Johnson carried most of the load, taking 20 carries for 72 yards.“For a slighter-built back, not only does he have great feet and patience, but the one thing he does is he can lower and finish at the end of the run,” Keim said. “When he gets out in space, he gets skinny and does some nice things with his run style, but his ability to finish between the tackles has been a pleasant surprise.” Arizona Cardinals’ Bobby Massie (70) blocks against Alex Okafor (57) during NFL football training camp Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Your browser does not support the audio element. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo At right tackle, Earl Watford has performed well in the Cardinals’ first two games. And left guard Ted Larsen has shown himself more than capable — he has experience at the position, after all.“I think they’ve answered the bell,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said Monday on Arizona Sports 98.7 “Doug and Wolf” show. “A couple guys have stepped up. (Right guard Jonathan Cooper) coming back from injury has done a nice job, Earl has played well and I think Ted Larsen has stepped up his game. And then it’s nice, I think Mike Iupati might be ready to play this week, Bobby Massie is back from suspension. We’ll have some options and it’s nice to have that kind of depth moving forward.”Iupati will in all likelihood reclaim his starting spot, but Massie might have a more difficult mountain to climb. Watford’s play has forced a discussion about how the team will shuffle its first unit.“Coach (Bruce Arians), myself and (offensive coordinator) Harold Goodwin will have a discussion sometime today about that,” Keim said. “But I know this: Earl has earned the right to be on the field. The one thing I think he’s excelled at is the run game. He really does have snap and explosiveness through his hips as a player where he can create movement in the run game. He does a nice job on the second level.” Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Johnson has also been solid in blitz-pickup, Arians said, and that’s helped the Cardinals go two games without giving up a sack.On Sunday, rookie running back David Johnson added five carries for 42 yards — not to mention his opening kickoff return that went 108 yards for a touchdown. His role may gradually increase, but Ellington’s eventual return and Arians’ wariness about piling too much on the rookie could play a factor.But all-in-all, the results heading into Week 3 are promising, especially for an offense that should only add to its depth along the line that’s already over-performing the outside expectations. – / 44 LISTEN: Steve Keim, Arizona Cardinals general manager