China’s nascent vacation cruise industry has gotten a vote of confidence from the world’s largest leisure travel company, U.S.-based Carnival Corp., in the form of an order for new cruise ships from the Shanghai Waigaoqiao shipyard.
The shipyard’s owner, state-owned China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC), agreed to build two cruise ships for Carnival’s China business through a joint venture with the Italian company Fincantieri SpA. The deal was announced Feb. 22 in Beijing.
The ships will be specially designed for the Chinese market and are slated for delivery in 2023, according to a Carnival press release.
The buyer is a Carnival-CSSC joint venture that since 2015 has been working to boost China’s cruise industry. The deal, for which financial terms were not disclosed, includes an option for four additional cruise liners that could be built in the future.
The deal will “further accelerate growth in the Chinese cruise market and serve increasing demand for cruising from Chinese and Asian travelers,” the press release said.
The Chinese government has been working to expand the nation’s cruise liner business since 2015 as part of a wider effort to boost the domestic tourist industry.
Photo: Chinese cruise liner in Shanghai