Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) and Ctrip have announced plans to terminate the China-based SkySea Cruise Line joint venture (JV) within this year.
As part of the plan, SkySea expects to sell its Golden Era vessel to Germany-based TUI’s Marella Cruises. Delivery of the vessel is scheduled to be carried out this December.
Golden Era is expected to operate from five seasonal homeports in Shanghai, Xiamen, Qingdao, Keelung (Taiwan) and Shenzhen throughout the year.
Following the end of the JV, TUI Cruises will retain the Mein Schiff 2 vessel in its fleet, with an aim of increasing its capacity in the German cruise market.
Both RCL and Ctrip expect to absorb the majority of SkySea employees, depending on favourable business conditions in China and elsewhere in the world.
Once the latest deal is completed, RCL will continue to serve the Chinese market through its Royal Caribbean International brand.
RCL also expects that the impact of the transactions will fall in a range of $0.12 to $0.15 a share in FY2018.
The company currently owns and operates three global brands, including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.
It has a 36% share in SkySea Cruises, a 50% share in TUI Cruises and a 49% stake in Spanish brand Pullmantur.
These brands collectively operate a total of 49 ships with an additional 13 ships on order as of 31 December 2017.