Last updated: 10:58 AM ET, Mon May 16 2016

The Current Outlook of the Asian Cruise Market and Destination

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Royal Caribbean International | Jason Leppert | May 11, 2016

The Current Outlook of the Asian Cruise Market and Destination

Photo courtesy of Travcoa

Seatrade Cruise recently published a detailed whitepaper about burgeoning Asian cruise travel, and it paints a picture of regional growth as both a source market and destination.

While Asia in general is growing by leaps and bounds, China in particular remains a focal point. In fact, in 2016, 2 million cruise guests are anticipated at China and Hong Kong ports, and the Chinese mainland expects around 1.33 million passengers aboard 15 homeporting cruise ships, resulting in an 80 percent annual increase for local deployments. China will be the biggest regional market by 2020 with a staggering 4.5 million total cruise travelers.

READ MORE: The Cruising Tide Rises in China

Even among MERS and typhoon concerns, Dr. Zinan Liu, Royal Caribbean’s president for China and North Asia Pacific is quoted as saying that 2015 saw, “buoyant market growth,” and this year is looking to be even better as Royal Caribbean brings its newest Ovation of the Seas to Tianjin.

Additional ship deployments yet to come for North Asia include Costa Group’s Costa neoRomantica, Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Miracle and AIDA Cruises’ AIDAbella in 2017, as well as the Carnival Splendor in 2018.

In an interesting position from a corporate standpoint is Genting Hong Kong, with its now three cruise brands and lifestyles: Star Cruises for contemporary, Dream Cruises for premium and Crystal Cruises for luxury. Ang Moo Lim, president of Star Cruises indicates that his brand, as number one with more than 25 percent of the marketshare in 2015, is set to grow even further in Singapore, Haikou, Xiamen, Keelung and Hong Kong this year.

READ MORE: First Look: Norwegian Cruise Line’s New Norwegian Joy for China

As for South East Asia, 2016 also looks prosperous, and Annie Chang, director cruise, Singapore Tourism Board said, “We continue to welcome international cruise brands such as Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Princess Cruises back for seasonal homeporting in Singapore.” In fact, Royal Caribbean plans to increase its capacity with extended seasons from Singapore.

Other international brands headed this way include P&O Cruises Australia and TUI Cruises, and a specific destination experiencing targeted interest is Myanmar. Managing director, Wallem Ship Agency, Dickson Chin was quoted as saying, “there has been renewed interest for Myanmar and the Mergui Archipelago remains very much unexplored. However, the inferior port infrastructures and navigational restrictions (day-light navigational and draught restrictions) are challenges that need to be overcome.”


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