CSSC to Buy Two Cruise Ships Ahead of Major Newbuilding Plans

Jincheng Yang, general manager

China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) will buy two cruise ships ahead of building a series of new ships, said Jincheng Yang, general manager, speaking at China Cruise Shipping in Shenzhen, China.

“China represents a huge market with great potential,” Yang noted.

Believed to be for a yet-to-be-named domestic cruise brand in China, he said the two ships will serve as a base for the company’s operations.

The first ship is expected to join the CSSC fleet in late 2019, followed by a second vessel in 2020.

Meanwhile, the company’s joint venture with Carnival Corporation will see the first of two Vista-class ships launch in 2023; the ships will be built new in China.

CSSC is the majority partner in the venture while Carnival will take on a minor role and help operate the vessels.

“We are already engineering our made-in-China cruise vessel,” he said. “According to our plan, the vessel will be in operation in 2023.”

A second ship is set to follow in 2024, and options extend out for an additional four vessels.

Fincantieri is also closely involved, helping oversee the construction process in China.

Yang said CSSC is aiming to have a fleet of eight cruise ships; including the two they plan to acquire followed by six 5,000-guest Vista-class newbuilds.

The secondhand vessels were not named, but a company presentation made at China Cruise Shipping said the ships would be around 85,000 tons with capacity for roughly 2,800 guests each.

Yang said the cruise business represented a good opportunity to build relationships with neighbouring countries, playing into China’s belt and road initiative.

Building ships would also boost domestic economic activity while positively contributing to a massive supply chain.

Costa Atlantica to Homeport in Shenzhen for 2018

Costa Atlantica

Costa Crociere is making a big deployment move in China and announced earlier this week the Costa Atlantica will now homeport in Shenzhen starting in late January and continuing for the rest of 2018.

The move will help strengthen the company’s position in Southern China, according to a press release.

“The Southern China market is an important part of Costa’s strategic plan in China,” said Mario Zanetti, president of Carnival China. “In recent years, Costa has opened several routes, including sailing from Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Xiamen”

Starting on Jan. 28, the ship will launch its new program, offering a variety of itineraries, with six-day cruises to Japan, six-day cruises to Vietnam and six-day cruises to the Philippines.

Compared to other companies offering cruises in China, this Costa deployment features slightly longer itineraries. Most cruises offered in the Chinese market are four to five days.

Japan itineraries include two port calls, either Okinawa and the Yaeyama Islands or Okinawa and Miyako Island.

Shenzhen opened its new Prince Bay homeport facility last July and has since seen 118 cruise ships and 159,000 passengers, according to a statement.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s first ship for China christened

Image result for Norwegian Joy Christening

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.