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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Sunday, February 25, 2018

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Chinese cruise market sees unprecedented expansion

Cruises from Chinese ports

Share on Facebook October 19, 2015, Reporter : BigNewsNet, Reader : 460

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SHANGHAI, China - The Asian cruise market is seeing an unprecedented influx of new cruise ships offering roundtrip cruises from Chinese ports, particularly Shanghai.

News about ships being deployed to what is set to become the world's second-largest cruise market in a few short years has come thick and fast in recent days.

Three cruise lines made announcements this week about home porting vessels in Shanghai.

First, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings said the ship formerly known as Bliss is to get a new name and design tweaks to make it more suited to Chinese passengers, just one month after its keel was laid.

The ship will be delivered in spring 2017, around the same time that Majestic Princess, the newest cruise ship for Princess Cruises, will commence cruising from Shanghai.

The second announcement this week, from Carnival Corporation , confirmed that ships from its German brand AIDA and its flagship brand Carnival Cruise Line would be heading to Asia.

"We look forward to introducing Chinese guests to the exceptional experience that has made Carnival the world's most popular cruise line with over 4.5 million guests a year," said Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy.

Royal Caribbean already has a strong presence in the Far East, with new-build Quantum of the Seas its flagship in the Asian market.

The cruise line has discovered that tailoring the cruises to appeal to the Chinese involves more than replacing the burger bar with noodles.

Chinese cruise passengers are not only prepared to pay higher fares than the American and European markets, they are also intent on spending money on luxury goods on sale aboard the ships.

The recent financial crisis and devaluation has done little to suppress the Chinese appetite for travel either there is an untapped market of hundreds of millions of people.

By 2018, when many of these new cruise ships are launched, the Asian cruise market will have surpassed Europe as the second-largest in the world.

At that time, there will still be more than a billion people in China who have never seen the sea, let alone a cruise ship, or contemplated a cruise vacation, revealing the depth of market penetration available to cruise lines.> BNN

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