Carnival Corp. Expands to Six Ships in China
PHOTO: Shanghai, China, is emerging as a major cruise homeport. (Courtesy of Thinkstock)
Carnival Corp. will base two more ships in China in 2016, bringing the company’s fleet to six and increasing total capacity by 58 percent.
Princess will send the Golden Princess to northern China in 2016, sailing out of Tianjin on a seasonal basis. The brand’s first China-based ship, Sapphire Princess, has been homeported in Shanghai since 2014 and will start sailing year-round in China in 2016.
Princess also is building a 145,000-ton, 3,560-passenger ship that will be based in Shanghai, China, when it enters service in mid-2017. It is being designed and built specifically for Chinese guests.
Costa, which entered the market in 2006, will move the Costa Fortuna to China in April. It will join the Costa Serena, Costa Atlantica and Costa Victoria and increase the brand’s total capacity in China by 43 percent in 2016.
“Our Costa and Princess brands are performing extremely well in China, and these new ship deployments will strengthen our growth position and enable us to carry nearly one million passengers in 2016, as we continue executing our plan to meet surging consumer demand for cruising in China,” said Alan Buckelew, chief operations officer for Carnival Corp. “As momentum accelerates in the market, we have a significant opportunity to increase cruising demand among China’s growing middle class and a new generation of Chinese travelers who are hungry for new vacation experiences.”
Carnival Corp. also is exploring potential joint ventures in China with China Merchants Group (CMG) and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), including the possibility of launching a world-class Chinese domestic cruise brand, building new ships in China, and supporting port and infrastructure development.
Meanwhile, rival Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is moving some of its newest and showiest ships to China. The company just redeployed the Quantum of the Seas to China, where it joined Voyager, Mariner and Legend of the Seas. A third Quantum-class ship, Ovation of the Seas, is due out in April and also is heading for China. It will be based in Tianjin, a port near Beijing.
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