Business / Industries

Cruise industry headed for decade of growth in China

By Wang Ying (China Daily) Updated: 2016-03-01 09:11

Cruise industry headed for decade of growth in China

The New York skyline is seen in a distance as Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas enters New York harbour Jan 29, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

Shanghai is the most important homeport for cruise ships in China, which handled 320 homeport cruise calls and nearly 1.6 million homeport passenger trips in 2015.

"Although the 2015 data are still being collected, Shanghai's ranking among the top 10 global homeports is likely to jump to sixth from last year's eighth position," said Cheng Juehao, from Shanghai Maritime University.

The growing capacity of China's cruise market has also driven global cruise companies to invest more in China, according to Cheng.

Princess Cruises, the third largest cruise line in the world and part of Carnival Corporation & Plc, announced on Thursday the expansion of its presence in China by launching a new homeport in Xiamen, Fujian province, this year, and debuting the cruise ship Majestic Princess that is specially tailored for the China market in 2017, with its homeport in Shanghai.

The 143,000-ton vessel, which can accommodate 3,600 passengers, is full of elements tailored for Chinese customers, including staff who can speak Chinese and Chinese-style cuisine, according to Cherry Wang, vice-president and general manager of Carnival China.

A lot of market research has been done to better understand Chinese clients, so that the products can be better received, according to Anthony Kaufman, executive vice-president of international operations at Princess Cruises.

"There may some market fluctuations in the short term, but Princess Cruises is always positive about China's cruise market," said Wang.

Wang said the bright future of the cruise industry in China is guaranteed, and with the growth of the market, other brands and products will follow.

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