It’s no secret that the Chinese cruise industry is enjoying an extended boom period at the moment, with more and more of the country’s population taking to the seas every year. This increased hunger for cruise holidays has led to a large number of western cruise lines sending some of their biggest and most popular ships to Chinese waters over the past couple of years.
The number of ships homeporting in China’s wealth of ports is only set to increase in the coming years, and now the nation’s shipbuilding industry looks set to blossom.
Carnival Corporation has recently announced a deal with a Chinese shipyard to build two of the company’s upcoming ships. This deal represents the first time a cruise line has partnered with a Chinese shipyard, with two Vista Class ships set to be the first built on Chinese soil.
The announcement came at the China Cruise Shipping Conference and International Cruise Expo, held in Tianjin over the past few days. The two new ships will sail under a new cruise brand, expected to be exclusively geared towards the Chinese market.
This represents another step forward for the Chinese cruise industry. Previous ships built for the Chinese market have still been constructed in Europe, but Carnival Corporation has demonstrated a growing bond between European companies and the Chinese industry.
And the news comes hot on the heels of another Chinese cruise line taking to the seas. Genting Hong Kong Dream Cruises will make their debut next month as their first ship, Genting Dream, enters service. Despite the China-centric focus, the Genting Dream was built in Papenburg, Germany.
More good news for Chinese cruise fans came from Norwegian Cruise Line, who announced that all three of their brands will be calling in the country next year. NCL, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas will all be making stops in China in 2017. Perhaps the most exciting bit of this news comes in the form of the Norwegian Joy, which is to become the first ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet to be geared towards the Chinese market. To support this, NCL has opened up new offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong – confirming the long-term dedication to the country.
But before you start worrying that all your favourite cruise ships will be leaving for China, don’t forget that P&O Cruises have only just announced they are building the UK’s biggest ever cruise ship.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Roger W