Carnival Corporation Expands Fleet in China
Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises brands each adding a new ship and additional capacity to meet accelerating consumer demand for cruise vacations in China.
Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest travel and leisure company, announced it will add two ships to itsChinafleet in 2016, making it the first global cruise company with six total ships based inChina. The move will increase Carnival Corporation’s total capacity inChinaby an additional 58 percent in 2016, further accelerating the company’s leadership position in the growing Chinese market, which continually delivers double-digit annual returns and is expected to eventually become the largest cruise market in the world.
Carnival Corporation’s fleet of sixChina-based ships will include expanded offerings from its two leading brands in the market – Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises – that are each adding one new ship to meet growing cruise demand inChina. Across the two brands, Carnival Corporation will have three year-round ships and three seasonal ships in the market, representing the largest cruise presence inChinain 2016.
Together, the Costa and Princess brands will potentially offer about four million passenger cruise days in 2016, giving Chinese guests more choice and flexibility in both the contemporary and luxury segments. Based on the accelerating consumer demand for cruises inChina, Carnival Corporation’s added capacity is expected to significantly increase the company’s total number of cruise passengers inChinain 2016.
Included in this new deployment is the announcement made during a press conference inBeijingthat Princess Cruises will send its Golden Princess ship to northernChinain 2016, sailing out ofTianjinon a seasonal basis, with itineraries visiting a variety of desirable destinations in northernAsia. Golden Princess joins the brand’s firstChina-based ship, Sapphire Princess, which has been homeported inShanghaisince 2014 and will start sailing year-round inChinain 2016. The brand’s two-ship deployment in 2016 will more than double its total available guest capacity inChinacompared to 2015, putting Princess Cruises in an even stronger position to serve the luxury cruise segment with its exclusivePrincess Classexperience designed specifically for the Chinese market.
Costa Cruises, a leading cruise brand inChinaand the first global cruise brand to introduce cruising to the market in 2006, recently announced it will debut Costa Fortuna inApril 2016as its fourth ship based inChina. Costa Fortuna joins Costa Serena, Costa Atlantica and Costa Victoria already based inChina, increasing the brand’s total available capacity inChinaby 43 percent in 2016.
«Our Costa and Princess brands are performing extremely well inChina, 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 inChina,» saidAlan Buckelew, chief operations officer for Carnival Corporation. «As momentum accelerates in the market, we have a significant opportunity to increase cruising demand amongstChina’sgrowing middle class and a new generation of Chinese travelers who are hungry for new vacation experiences.»
Buckelew added: «Our focus is on exceeding guest expectations on every ship and really tailoring our product for Chinese tastes, which helps create new advocates and spread the joy of cruising inChina. Through our brands, our expanding operations and our potential joint ventures inChina, we’re excited to play a lead role in helpingChinabecome one of the world’s leading cruise markets.»
In addition to expanding its industry-leading presence inChinain 2016, Carnival Corporation recently announced that the latest ship under construction for its Princess brand will be based inChinayear-round when introduced in summer 2017. Based inShanghai, the ship will be the first year-round international luxury vessel designed and built specifically for Chinese guests.
Carnival Corporation is also exploring potential joint ventures inChinawith China Merchants Group (CMG) and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) designed to accelerate the growth of the overall cruise industry inChina, including the possibility of launching a world-class Chinese domestic cruise brand, building new ships inChina, and supporting port and infrastructure development. These efforts support Carnival Corporation’s commitment to helpChinarealize its goal to develop cruising as a key economic driver for its economy and become one of the leading cruise markets in the world.