Carnival Cruises has announced that its cruise joint venture with a Chinese shipbuilding company will launch this week.
The new China-based cruise company plans to operate its own fleet to serve Chinese cruise guests by the end of 2019.
Additionally, CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited announced it has signed a contract to finalize its previously announced agreement to order two new cruise ships that will be built in China and serve the Chinese cruise market.
As the largest cruise company in the world with over 100 ships in its fleet and 22 ships on order through 2025, Carnival Corporation will utilize its deep industry expertise to provide onsite supervision and support during ship construction.
Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, said: “The official launch of our cruise joint venture in China is a significant milestone in the strategic development of a strong and sustainable cruise industry in China.
“Together with our partners, we are excited about our ability to launch a new cruise line in China based on existing ships and new China-built cruise ships tailored for Chinese travellers.”
These agreements were signed at a ceremony held today at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.
CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited was formed with the goal to launch the first multi-ship cruise brand in China specifically designed to serve the Chinese cruise market.
Lei Fanpei, chairman of CSSC, said: “It is a strategic decision for CSSC to enter into the cruise industry in partnership with Carnival Corporation and Fincantieri.
“Our cooperation continues to receive great support from the Chinese government at both the central and local levels. We wish to continue our win-win partnership from today on, to ensure the delivery of the first large cruise ship to be built in China by 2023.”
As the world’s top outbound tourism market, China’s 142 million outbound travellers spent an estimated $258 billion travelling abroad in 2017, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
China is widely expected to eventually become the largest cruise market in the world, as the cruise industry continues to grow and develop in the region.