Carnival Signs for Two Chinese Ships
During the 11th annual “China Cruise Shipping and International Cruise Expo” in Tianjin on Friday, Fincantieri and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), signed a non-binding agreement with Carnival Corporation and CIC Capital Corporation (CIC Capital) for the construction of the first new cruise ships to be built in China for the Chinese market.
The joint venture being set up between Fincantieri and CSSC will act as prime contractor for the construction of two new cruise ships to be built at the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, with an option for two additional ships.
The new ships will be based on the Vista-class platform, ships built by Fincantieri for the Carnival Group, and the design will be tailored for the specific tastes of the Chinese travelers and for the new Chinese cruise brand of the joint venture between Carnival, CSSC and CIC Capital, which will also operate the units. The first delivery is expected in 2022.
The agreement follows the one of last July between Fincantieri and CSSC for the constitution of a joint venture aimed at developing and supporting the growth of the Chinese cruise industry.
Separately, Carnival Corporation and its Chinese partners announced that the Chinese central government has now granted approval for the cruise joint venture to officially incorporate in Hong Kong.
Alan Buckelew, global chief operations officer for Carnival Corporation said: “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.”
The cruise market in China expanded significantly in the last years, reaching one million passengers in 2015. An estimated 4.5 million passengers will be reached by 2020, projecting China to become the world’s second largest cruise market after the U.S. By 2030, China will have an estimated 8-10 million passengers with double-digit growth per year, potentially making it the world’s largest market.