Business / Companies

Giant cruise ship set to make Shanghai its home

By XIE YU ( Updated: 2014-06-23 18:02

One of the world's biggest cruise ship Quantum of the Seas will visit China next year and make Shanghai its new home, as the leading cruise operator Royal Caribbean further explores the China market.

"The development in just five or six years in China has been incredible. Growth rate from the China market is 50 to 100 percent per year. We've never seen anything like this before, not even in the US. So the trend is fantastic," said Adam Goldstein, president and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Royal Caribbean International said last week that the Quantum Global Odyssey, a 53-night epic journey, departing May 2, 2015, from the New York-metropolitan area will visit its new home in Shanghai (Baoshan), China.

Giant cruise ship set to make Shanghai its home

Giant cruise ship set to make Shanghai its home
China is now the second-largest market in terms of customers. By revenue, it ranks No 3, closely behind the UK, Goldstein said.

"That's because we organize shorter cruises here, but clearly the growth rate in China is so significant. And I believe in a few years China will become our second market in every way," he added.

There are different cultural traditions. For the US market, one-week is the basic unit of vacation. Whether you are an experienced cruiser or not, even if you don't take cruises, one-week vacation is basic. In Europe, it is usually more, up to two-weeks.

In China and most of Asia, it is normally shorter, like four to seven nights. So we have to adjust, offer shorter trips here. And we hope as people gain experience, and recognize the value, that they would like to go to other parts of the world and experience longer cruise.

On the other hand, Chinese tourists are contributing the largest consumption both on board and on port.

"Cosmetics, watches, bags, jewelry, those fairly straight-forward luxury goods are preferred by Chinese customers. So we are trying to bring more major brands to our ships," Goldstein said.

We realize that the China economy overall is growing a little slower than it was, although the speed is still faster than anywhere else in the world. People from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou who have been accumulating their wealth for some years are still very consistent in spending, he added.

With another cruise ship Legend of the Seas calling Xiamen and making it a home port, more coastal cities are beginning to involve into the cruise industry, Goldstein said.

Right now, most of our customers are cruising from here, from Shanghai or Tianjin. But we expect in 10 years, Chinese people will be more diverse, and they will visit the Mediterranean, Alaska, Australia or Singapore, he added.

The Quantum Class spans 18 decks, encompass 167,800 gross registered tons, carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy and feature 2,090 staterooms.

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