Yesterday we reported that Norwegian Cruise line is to customize its second Breakway Plus newbuild for the Chinese market.
Today's news is that Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK) is to deploy two additional cruise brands in China 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 – which, it says, "is expected to eventually become the world's largest cruise market based on surging demand for cruise vacations by Chinese travelers."
The move means that four of Carnival's ten brands will have at least one homeported cruise ship in China. The plan to deploy two additional ships – one new ship each for both its Carnival and AIDA brands – and operate four total brands in China in 2017 is in line with Carnival Corporation's long-term, multi-brand strategy to provide Chinese travelers with a variety of vacation options and experiences to meet growing demand across all segments of the Chinese 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 lineup of brands and cruise offerings to Chinese guests who are looking for a great vacation experience," said Carnival CEO Arnold Donald, who was in Shanghai to announce the news at the 10th Annual China Cruise Shipping and International Cruise Expo (CCS10). "As we execute our multi-brand growth strategy in China, we are emphasizing choice and variety in our offerings to match the different tastes and preferences of Chinese travelers."
"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 travelers enjoying vacations on our AIDA and Carnival brands," said Mr. Donald. "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."
Adding the two new brands follows a July announcement by Carnival Corporation that Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises will each put a new ship into its China fleet in 2016, making Carnival Corporation the first global cruise company with six total ships based in China. This all adds up to a 58 percent increase 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.
As previously reported, 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 cruise ships in China, and supporting port and infrastructure development.