Cruise

Carnival deploys new brands to China

Hannah Edensor

Carnival Corporation is extending its cruising tentacles further into China with the deployment of two additional cruise brands in 2017.

Carnival Cruise Line and AIDA Cruises will join Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises in the Chinese market, making Carnival Corporation the first company to operate four brands in China.

China is expected to eventually become the world’s largest cruise market based on surging demand for cruise vacations by Chinese travellers, so this is a strong move for the cruise company.

As a result of Carnival Corporation’s expansion in China in 2017, four of its 10 brands will have at least one homeported cruise ship in China, further bolstering the company’s presence in the market.

“We are excited to introduce our Carnival Cruise Line and AIDA Cruises brands to our fleet in China, giving us a total of four global cruise brands in the market and a unique opportunity to provide a diverse line-up of brands and cruise offerings to Chinese guests who are looking for a great vacation experience,” Carnival CEO Arnold Donald said, announcing the news at the 10th Annual China Cruise Shipping and International Cruise Expo in Shanghai.

“As we execute our multi-brand growth strategy in China, we are emphasising choice and variety in our offerings to match the different tastes and preferences of Chinese travellers.”

“As more and more Chinese are discovering why cruising is the best vacation experience, they are having a great time on our Costa and Princess brands, and we look forward to even more Chinese travellers enjoying vacations on our AIDA and Carnival brands.”

“This is an exciting time in China for the cruise industry, and as the world’s largest cruise company and the first global cruise operator in China, we are more committed than ever to helping China become one of the world’s most popular regions for cruise vacations.”

Further details on plans for Carnival Cruise Line and AIDA Cruises to enter the Chinese market in 2017 will be announced soon by each brand.

“With cruise demand rapidly increasing in China and our ability to work in partnership with other Carnival Corporation brands to leverage our collective experience and scale, it provides an outstanding opportunity for Carnival Cruise Line to enter the Chinese market,” Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy said.

AIDA Cruises president Felix Eichhorn added that it was exciting to join the Carnival Corporation sister brands in 2017.

“By focusing on the interests of our guests in China, there is a significant opportunity to grow cruising demand for our brand, Carnival Corporation and the industry at large,” he said.

Carnival Corporation announced in July that its existing brands already sailing in China – Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises – will also continue to expand in 2016, with each brand introducing a new ship to its fleet in China in 2016, making Carnival Corporation the first global cruise company with six total ships based in China.

The expansion of Carnival Corporation’s China fleet to six ships will represent a 58% boost in total capacity in China in 2016, including three year-round ships and three seasonal ships in the market.

Together, the Costa and Princess brands will potentially offer about four million passenger cruise days in 2016.

Building on its expanding presence in China in 2016, Princess Cruises just announced last week the name of its new ship that will be based year-round in China when it is introduced in summer 2017.

Based in Shanghai, the all-new Majestic Princess will be the first year-round cruise ship built specifically for Chinese guests incorporating a unique blend of international and Chinese features.

Carnival Corporation is also exploring potential joint ventures in China with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and China Merchants Group (CMG) designed to accelerate the growth of the overall cruise industry in China, including the possibility of launching a world-class Chinese domestic cruise brand, building new ships in China, and supporting port and infrastructure development.

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