Carnival Corporation has agreed to develop China’s first ever cruise ship.
The company will sign a memorandum of understanding with the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) as part of a potential joint venture that aims to boost the development of the country’s cruise industry.
The country’s cruise sector is expected to be among the biggest in the world with 4.5 million passengers set to arrive in the area by 2020, according to the Chinese Ministry of Transport (MOT).
As part of the deal, there is the possibility of adding Fincantieri of Italy into the project, which is the globe’s biggest ship building company.
Carnival will work alongside the CSSC in order to design a world class vessel capable of satisfying demand from travellers in China.
The Chinese MOT has already emphasised its desire to transform the country into one of the leading cruise markets worldwide. Such a move would lead to investments in infrastructure and a strong domestic cruise presence to accelerate growth in cruising.
Arnold Donald, chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation, said: “This landmark agreement enables us to work closely with our partners at the CSSC to fully explore the possibility of forming a joint venture to further develop China into a leading cruise market, supporting local economic development and bringing vacation enjoyment to millions.”
Carnival has put forward plans to grow its capacity in China during 2015 in order to satisfy increasing demand. With the introduction of the Costa Serena to its China fleet, Carnival will be the first worldwide company with four ships homeported in the country.
The organisation now offers a varied cruising product with two brands aimed at different segments of travellers. These multiple brands enable the business to satisfy expectations by matching tastes with the correct branding.
Overall, Carnival will have 220 port calls from five brands across China this year, representing 15 per cent of the company’s total port calls in the whole of Asia, which is a region where the business has doubled its market share in recent years.
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