Cruise operator Carnival Corporation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China Merchants Group (CMG) to explore the potential for two joint ventures (JV) aimed at accelerating development and growth of the cruise industry in China.
The first JV will own and operate its own cruise ships as part of the first-ever domestic Chinese cruise line.
This business will explore the possibility of sourcing new ships designed and built in China, and will seek to acquire existing cruise ships.
The second JV intends develop turnaround and transit ports within and around China, including a flagship port currently being developed by CMG called Prince Bay Cruise Terminal in Shekou, Shenzhen, China.
In addition, the Port and Destination Development JV will aim to get cruise ships sailing from this flagship port.
Carnival Corporation COO Alan Buckelew said: "The MoU we signed today signifies a great opportunity to take the next step in the future of Chinese cruising, while addressing some key needs for both the cruise industry and its passengers in China.
"With CMG’s amazing track record, reach and influence in the market, we are working with a strategic partner that can help us explore immediate ways to impact cruise growth in China, including the possibility of a new Chinese cruise brand and new destinations."
Last year, Carnival Corporation signed MoUs with Fincantieri and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) to explore the potential for JVs in cruise ship building in the Chinese market.
Image: Officials of Carnival Corporation and CMG during the signing ceremony. Photo: courtesy of Carnival Corporation.