Miami-based cruise company Royal Caribbean International christened its new Quantum class cruise ship Ovation of the Seas at the port city of Tianjin in northeast China on June 24.
Accommodating 4,180 guests at double occupancy and 1,500 international crew members, Ovation of the Seas is the first world-class ship to make China its homeport immediately after its delivery.
“With the arrival of Ovation of the Seas in Tianjin, Royal Caribbean now has the largest fleet in the region. Now, Chinese guests can enjoy a wider variety of world-class cruise experiences and destinations right from their home market,” Zinan Liu, President, Royal Caribbean International – China and North Asia Pacific, said.
The vessel’s Godmother, the Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, presided over the celebrations which culminated with the maritime tradition of the breaking of a champagne bottle on the hull of the 168,666-gross ton vessel to wish good fortune to the ship and all who sail on her.
Constructed in 18 months, Ovation of the Seas was floated out of Meyer Werft’s building dock in February. The cruise ship was officially launched in April 2016 when it started its 53-day Global Odyssey on its way from Southampton to Tianjin, China.
The vessel is scheduled to start its maiden sailing season in China from Tianjin in June 2016.
China is the cruise industry’s fastest-growing market in the world and the demand has increased by double digits since 2013.
China alone accounted for 1 million cruise passengers last year, up from about 700,000 in 2014, and the Chinese Ministry of Tourism has forecasted 4.5 million passengers by 2020.