Last updated: 11:56 AM ET, Thu July 02 2015

Royal Caribbean's New Cruise Venture Now Sailing from Shanghai

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. | Theresa Norton | June 26, 2015

Royal Caribbean's New Cruise Venture Now Sailing from Shanghai

PHOTO: The former Celebrity Century underwent a renovation for the Chinese market. (Courtesy of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.)

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s new cruise venture, SkySea Cruises, is now sailing Asia voyages from Shanghai, catering primarily to Chinese travelers.

The new company is a joint venture between RCCL, Chinese travel giant Ctrip and Shanghai-based asset manager Stone Capital.

The joint venture bought the Celebrity Century cruise ship, renovated it to appeal to Chinese tastes, and renamed it SkySea Golden Era, according to a blog post on RCCL’s website. It departed on its maiden voyage May 19.

The ship’s interiors were painted in brighter colors, and the atrium got a new grand staircase, and a contemporary chandelier with LED lighting. The shopping area was expanded and more table games were added to the casino to appeal to a Chinese preference for group play and interaction. Two new restaurants serve Asian fusion cuisine and traditional, sophisticated Chinese cuisine. A traditional teahouse also was added.

The ship’s spa was modernized with a new concessionaire, PhiSkin Medical Spa and Wellness Center, which offers medical skin care and fitness, including the use and duty-free sale of “cosmeceuticals” — cosmetics that claim to have medical anti-aging properties.

“We did this in no time,” Capt. Hernan Zini, COO for SkySea Cruises, says in the blog post. “But the startup was almost flawless, and we’re getting very good reviews from the market.”


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