Carnival to expand China fleet to six cruise ships in 2016

26 July 2015 (Last Updated July 26th, 2015 18:30)

Global travel and leisure company Carnival Corporation has revealed its plans to add two ships to its China fleet in 2016, bringing the total number of its cruise ships based in the country to six.

Global travel and leisure company Carnival Corporation has revealed its plans to add two ships to its China fleet in 2016, bringing the total number of its cruise ships based in the country to six.

The new additions across Carnival’s two brands, Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises, will increase the company’s total capacity in China by an additional 58% in 2016.

The two brands will operate three year-round ships and three seasonal ships in the market in 2016, offering four million passenger cruise days.

Costa Cruises will debut its newest Costa Fortuna as its fourth ship based in China in April 2016.

"As momentum accelerates in the market, we have a significant opportunity to increase cruising demand amongst China’s growing middle class and a new generation of Chinese travellers who are hungry for new vacation experiences."

Carnival Corporation chief operations officer Alan Buckelew said: "Our Costa and Princess brands are performing extremely well in China, and these new ship deployments will strengthen our growth position and enable us to carry nearly one million passengers in 2016, as we continue executing our plan to meet surging consumer demand for cruising in China.

"As momentum accelerates in the market, we have a significant opportunity to increase cruising demand amongst China’s growing middle class and a new generation of Chinese travellers who are hungry for new vacation experiences.

"Through our brands, our expanding operations and our potential joint ventures in China, we’re excited to play a lead role in helping China become one of the world’s leading cruise markets."

Princess Cruises latest ship, which is under construction, will also be based in China in mid-2017.

Carnival is also planning to establish joint ventures with China Merchants Group (CMG) and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), launch a Chinese domestic cruise brand, build new ships and support port and infrastructure development in the country.