Two additional ships will be deployed to China by Carnival Corporation in 2016, making it the first global cruise company with six vessels based in the country.
Princess Cruises will send Golden Princess to northern China, sailing out of Tianjin on a seasonal basis.
Golden Princess joins the brand’s first China-based ship, Sapphire Princess, which has been homeported in Shanghai since 2014 and will start sailing year-round in China in 2016.
The brand’s two-ship deployment in 2016 will more than double its total available guest capacity in China compared to this year.
Costa Cruises’ Costa Fortuna makes its debut in April 2016 as the line’s fourth ship based in China. Costa Fortuna joins Costa Serena, Costa Atlantica and Costa Victoria already based in China, increasing the brand’s total capacity in China by 43%.
Carnival Corporation will have three ships year-round and three operating seasonally in the market, representing the largest cruise presence in China in 2016.
Alan Buckelew, chief operations officer for Carnival Corporation, said: “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.
“As momentum accelerates in the market, we have a significant opportunity to increase cruising demand amongst China’s growing middle class and a new generation of Chinese travellers who are hungry for new vacation experiences.”
He added: “Through our brands, our expanding operations and our potential joint ventures in China, we’re excited to play a lead role in helping China become one of the world’s leading cruise markets.”
The latest ship under construction for Princess brand will be based in China year-round when introduced in summer 2017. Based in Shanghai, the ship will be the first year-round international luxury vessel designed and built specifically for Chinese passengers.
Carnival Corporation is also exploring potential joint ventures in China with China Merchants Group and China State Shipbuilding Corporation, including the possibility of launching a Chinese domestic cruise brand, building new ships in China, and supporting port and infrastructure developments.
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