Star Cruises marked the inaugural sailing of the SuperStar Aquarius from her new Qingdao homeport earlier this week, and also announced the SuperStar Virgo would homeport in Qingdao starting in November.
Ang Moo Lim, President of Star Cruises said: “Back in 2002, Star Cruises had the privilege to pioneer Qingdao’s cruise industry development with the deployments of SuperStar Gemini and SuperStar Capricorn to this beautiful port city. As we celebrate the inaugural sailing of SuperStar Aquarius in Qingdao, Star Cruises has officially set a new record number of homeport deployments by the same brand in Qingdao.
“Furthermore, to demonstrate the company’s commitment and dedication to the development of the Qingdao market, Star Cruises will deploy the SuperStar Virgo to homeport here in the autumn, making Star Cruises the only cruise line in history to have two cruise ships homeport in Qingdao in the same year. Star Cruises will also likely become the International cruise line with the highest number of homeport deployments in Qingdao this year.”
The SuperStar Aquarius will sail from Qingdao this summer to Japan, stopping in multiple ports including Nagasaki, Fukuoka, Sasebo and Beppu.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s first ship purpose built for Chinese passengers was officially named in Shanghai yesterday.
The 3,883-passenger Norwegian Joy is the first cruise ship to feature a two-level go-kart track.
Other elements of the ship include an open-air laser tag course, the Galaxy Pavilion featuring simulator rides, Oculus virtual reality technology, interactive video walls and two multi-story waterslides.
Norwegian Joy has 28 dining options ranging from traditional Chinese cuisine to French, Italian and steakhouse fine dining restaurants, an open space park, as well as the line’s largest shopping area.
The christening marked the end of a month-long grand inaugural tour where the 167,725–gross-ton ship was showcased in Singapore, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, as well as VIP partner cruises from Norwegian Joy’s homeports of Shanghai and Tianjin.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings president and chief executive Frank Del Rio said: “After years spent carefully designing this amazing vessel, my team and I are both proud and thrilled to finally christen the world’s first cruise ship custom-designed for the wonderful people of China.
“This is truly a special moment for the entire Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings family, our valued travel partners, honoured guests and dedicated officers and crew across our fleet.”
The naming ceremony featured a performance by the ship’s godfather, Chinese singer songwriter, music producer, actor and film director, Wang Leehom.
PHOTO: Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Norwegian Joy docked in Bremerhaven, Germany. (photo by Jason Leppert)
Following maiden calls in Singapore, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Norwegian Joy, was welcomed to its new home port of Shanghai, China.
The Norwegian Joy was engineered in Germany and designed specifically for the Chinese market.
During a preview voyage that departed from Shanghai June 10, the new ship welcomed more than 1,700 VIP members and guests of the Alibaba Group for a four-day preview cruise.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s preview voyage aboard the Norwegian Joy called on the Japanese port of Kochi before returning to Shanghai, and the ship’s christening ceremony will take place on June 27 with its Godfather, ‘King of Chinese Pop,’ Wang Leehom.
Year-round voyages on Norwegian Joy from Shanghai begin June 28, with sailings from Tianjin from August 26 to September 15. The vessel was designed with several major attractions, including the first race track at sea, virtual reality experiences, plus 28 local and international dining options.
“Norwegian Cruise Line is extremely proud to welcome the newest addition to our fleet, Norwegian Joy, to her home port of Shanghai, China,” NCLH China president David Herrera said in a statement.
“Norwegian Joy’s arrival demonstrates our commitment to the Chinese cruise market. She was custom-built with Chinese cruise guests in mind.”
The Norwegian Joy will cater to the modern Chinese family, with amenities that include staterooms designed for multi-generational families, Las Vegas-style performances and a variety of luxury shopping options.
The new features, services and amenities found on the Norwegian Joy will help Norwegian Cruise Line make a massive impact in the Chinese market.