Norwegian Cruise Line announced a substantial expansion to the company’s North American sales team, almost doubling the number of business development managers in the field, and increasing the overall sales group by more than 40 percent.

“With the recent addition of exciting and innovative capacity and significantly more to come, this expansion will allow us to build closer, more effective partnerships with our travel partners across North America,” said Drew Madsen, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and chief operating officer. “By growing our sales team, we can reach more travel partners.  Combine this increased reach with the significant investment we have made in marketing tools, booking automation, training, co-operative marketing dollars and the youngest fleet in the North American cruise industry and we believe we have a winning formula.”

As a part of the expansion, new field sales representatives will be added in regions throughout the United States and Canada, including multiple positions in California, as well as an expanded presence in New York, Texas, and the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. 

The Norwegian field sales team will also add a new business development manager position and a director of sales for Canada, joining the four managers already fully dedicated to Canadian travel partners. Sales managers will also be added to the National Accounts, Key Accounts, Charters, Meetings & Incentives and Inside Sales teams based in Miami, to further boost the company’s industry leading world-class sales force.

“Our aggressive and sizable investment into our sales force will not only allow us to personally reach more travel professionals, but will also allow us to deepen the relationships we have with our travel partners,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian’s executive vice president of sales. “I am immensely proud of our sales team and what they’ve accomplished over the years. It’s now time to build on that success and continue to put our Partners First.”

Leading the expanded sales force are three seasoned industry professionals: Nathan Hickman, who recently joined Norwegian from Oceania Cruises as vice president of field sales and national accounts; Alex Pinelo, a long time veteran of Norwegian, who was recently appointed vice president of key accounts, and Katina Athanasiou, vice president of charters, meetings and incentives for Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

In April of 2011, Norwegian Cruise Line introduced Partners First, the company’s corporate philosophy of putting its travel partners first, including a $16 million investment towards new customizable marketing tools with Marketing Headquarters; a complete focus on being easy to do business with; the streamlining of the booking processes and technology; and a commitment on direct business. Norwegian has consistently strengthened its commitment to the long term success of its travel partners by unveiling additional new and improved efforts.

This expansion comes as the Norwegian Sales Team is in the midst of series of events that brings the Norwegian sales leadership team face-to-face with travel partners and individual agents in 21 cities across the United States and Canada, including Atlanta, Boston, New York, Montreal, Dallas, Los Angeles and more. Each of the exclusive Norwegian hosted events provides travel partners with a detailed insider look at Norwegian Escape, the line’s largest and most innovative ship to-date, launching this November.