Chinese central government has granted approval for a cruise joint venture between Carnival Corporation, China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and China Investment Capital Corporation (CIC Capital) to officially incorporate in Hong Kong.
This news follows a non-binding agreement signed between the joint venture partners and a newly formed China-based shipbuilding joint venture between CSSC and Italy-based Fincantieri S.p.A for the construction of two new Vista-class cruise ships to be built in China, with an option for two additional ships.
The cruise joint venture in China will operate the new ships as part of their plans to launch the first multi-ship domestic cruise brand in China.
The joint venture in which Carnival Corporation holds a minority interest is expected to initially launch its new domestic Chinese cruise brand using ships that are purchased from Carnival Corporation’s existing fleet and homeported in China.
The joint venture would then add new China-built cruise ships starting in 2022 to further accelerate growth in the Chinese cruise market, which is expected to eventually become the largest cruise market in the world.
“We are excited about the potential for the first new cruise ships to be built and deployed in China for the enjoyment of Chinese travelers, which will be an important milestone in the development of the Chinese cruise market,” said Alan Buckelew, global chief operations officer for Carnival Corporation.
“As we work with our Chinese partners to launch the first domestic Chinese cruise brand in the next few years, being able to offer cruises on China-built cruise ships represents a new opportunity for us to generate excitement and demand for cruising amongst a broader segment of the Chinese vacation market, which is already the largest in the world and continues to see strong growth every year.”