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Legend of the Seas returns to Singapore for winter


Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas has left the South China sea and is headed to Singapore for some popular southeast Asian cruises.  These cruises will cover holidays such as Christmas, New Year and Lunar New Year and there are over 20 sailing planned.

Legend of the Seas will make calls to ports including Phuket in Thailand and Penang, Kuala Lumpur or Langkawi in Malaysia.  Other cruise highlights include

  • A two-night weekender to Malacca in January
  • A seven- or eight-night cruise to Bali, Indonesia, in February
  • In March, the cruise ship will embark on a nine-night Exotic Asia Cruise from Singapore to Shanghai, visiting Ho Chi Minh City and Hue in Vietnam, Hong Kong and Xiamen.

Korean port of Incheon to become a cruise hub


Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas is going to call the port of Incheon, South Korea not just a port of call but their home port very soon.  Incheon port authority officials are hoping to welcome even more cruise ships by expanding facilities and adding more immigration booths.

Thus far 15 cruise ships have made a call to Incheon this year and with more passengers from Europe and North America traveling to South Korea for tours, Incheon officials hope to develop more local tours to encourage tourists to stay in the area.

A ship like Legend of the Seas generates a lot of revenue for the city, as each time she pulls into port, approximately W1 billion (US$1=W1,114) in financial effect hits the city.

Interest in cruising in China on the rise


Cruising in China is expected to grow this year, with a 5% increase in domestic cruises, and the future for China looks bright.  The Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal in downtown Hongkou District opened in 2008 and already construction of another port, the Shanghai Wusongkou Terminal, is scheduled to be completed by 2012.  Once the second terminal is complete, Shanghai will be able to handle eight cruise ships per day, with home-ported ships stopping there 66 times in this year alone, more than double the amount from last year.

At the All Asia Cruise Convention, Royal Caribbean senior vice-president  Michael Bayley sounded optimistic about the future of cruises in China, "China has a potential of around 40 million cruise guests annually if the market penetration reaches the level of the U.S. and Europe".

Royal Caribbean already has a vested interest in the growth of cruising in China, as Royal Caribbean signed a memorandum of understanding last year with Shanghai International Port Group to form a strategic partnership in cruise operation areas, such as market promotion, port, staff training and management-experience exchange.

"Such strategic partnerships are an important and valuable element of our activity to increase penetration in China," Bayley said.

Cruise lines urge Japan ports to get better


The Japan Cruise Symposium taking place in Fukuoka, Japan is looking at opportunities for Japan to become a major cruise line destination but before that can happen, Japanese ports need to become more appealing for cruise lines to visit.

Royal Caribbean Regional Vice President Rama Rebbapragada said that Royal Caribbean ships stopping in Japan have doubled in recent years.  Rebbapragada is also the current chairman of the Asia Cruise Association (ACA) saw the symposium as a great opportunity to build better partnerships with more communication about shore attractions in Japan.

Other concerns raised by other cruise line representatives include changing the perception that Japan is a very expensive destination, encourage Japanese ports to aim to be marquee ports and promote cruising in the country better to its people.

Royal Caribbean offers new Asian itineraries in 2011


The 2010/2011 schedule for Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas has been announced and will feature a year-round deployment in Asia.  

Legend of the Seas will have over 60 sailings including seven new itineraries, including an exciting new additions such as Bali, Semarang and Lombok in Indonesia, Osaka, Aomori and Beppu in Japan and Dalian in China.  In addition, Legend of the Seas will feature more overnight stays at popular ports-of-call, that will allow travellers to see more of the region.


Legend of the Seas will return to Singapore starting on November 22, 2010 and will offer 3, 4 and 5 night southeast Asian sailings to ports like Malaysia’s Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi as well as Thailand’s Phuket.  Sailings to Singapore will include the popular holidays of Christmas, New Years and Chinese New Year.

In addition there will be new itineraries by Royal Caribbean from Singapore in 2011 such as

  • 2 Night Weekend Cruise in January to Malacca, Malaysia, ideal for a short getaway
  • 8 Night Indonesia Cruise in February to Bali for an overnight, Semarang and Lombok, for an in-depth exploration of Indonesia
  • 7 Night Bali & Semarang Cruise in February to Semarang and Bali for an overnight

Shanghai and Tianjin

Legend of the Seas will move to Shanghai and Tianjin from March to October 2011 and offer cruises to South Korea and Japan that feature almost 10 distinct itineraries such as

  • 5 Night Asian Legacies Cruise from Shanghai to Fukuoka, Japan; Busan and Jeju Island, South Korea
  • 7 Night Pearls of the Orient Cruise from Shanghai to Osaka (overnight) and Fukuoka, Japan; Busan, South Korea
  • 7 Night Kyushu Explorer Cruise from Shanghai to Kagoshima, Beppu and Fukuoka, Japan; Busan, South Korea
  • 7 Night Japan & Korea Cruise from Tianjin to Nagasaki and Fukuoka, Japan; Jeju Island and Seoul, South Korea


Back by popular demand, Legend of the Seas will sail from Yokohama in April and May 2011 as well as in September 2011, with itineraries such as

  • 8 Night Korea & China Cruise in April calling at Osaka, Japan; Shanghai, China (overnight); Jeju Island and Busan, South Korea
  • 9 Night Russia & Hokkaido Cruise in May and September, one way from Yokohama to Shanghai visiting Aomori and Otaru, Japan; Vladivostok, Russia; Busan and Jeju Island, South Korea, ideal for travelers who are extending their stay in Shanghai
  • 7 Night Shanghai to Yokohama Cruise in April and 7 Night Tianjin to Yokohama Cruise in September, which are one-way sailings visiting destinations such as Dalian, China; Seoul, South Korea; Beppu and Nagoya, Japan.

Hong Kong

Rounding out Legend of the Seas schedule will be a Hong Kong sailing season in October to November 2011 that will feature destinations such as Vietnam and Taiwan

  • 5 Night Gems of Asia Cruise to Kaohsiung, Taichung and Taipei, Taiwan
  • 5 Night Indo China Explorer Cruise to Sanya, China; Hue/Danang and Halong Bay, Vietnam

Royal Caribbean opens first showroom in Beijing


Royal Caribbean and China Youth Travel Group have opened their first cruise showroom in Beijing's Asian Games Village.  In the booth, Royal Caribbean is offering visitors several packages, including an eight days and seven nights cruise to Japan and South Korea aboard Legend of the Seas.

These cruises that are being showcased depart from Tianjin, northern China's first cruise home port.  This showroom is part of the Asian Games, also called the Asiad, which is a multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from all over Asia. The Asian Games are the world's second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games.

Asian cruise market to reach 5 million by 2020


At the Seatrade All Asia Cruise Convention 2010, Michael Bayley, Vice President of Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited, talked about Asian source market size and where it is headed.  Bayley compared the penetration rates versus population in other markets: Cruising’s penetration is 3.2% in North America, about 1% in Europe and less than 0.05% in Asia. With a population close to 3 billion, Asia has the potential to reach 40 million cruisers in 30 years, he said.

"Whilst that is an outrageous number there were only 500,000 cruisers in North America 35 years ago. I think 5m Asian cruisers by 2020 is not unrealistic at this stage"

The cruise market in China has seen a lot of growth recently and fast. The change in atmosphere is thanks to regulations being eased, there has been a lot of government support for the industry and ports have been investing in the development of terminals and infrastructure.

Royal Caribbean dominating holiday cruises in Bahrain


Good news for Royal Caribbean stock holders, travel agents in Bahrain have reported an 80 percent increase in bookings compared to the first six months of last year and Royal Caribbean is leading the way.

Travel agents said the US-Norwegian company Royal Caribbean International was leading the sales with Princess Cruises and the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) not far behind.

Travel agents there seem to be quite pleased with how well Royal Caribbean itineraries are selling.  Oasis of the Seas is generating a lot of interest as well as their most popular package that sets sail from Singapore to Phuket, Thailand and Penang, Malaysia and then back to Singapore over a period of two nights.

"Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruise and NCL are all in the market selling like hot cakes."

Big cruise growth expected in China


The fad these days is to have ships go to Europe to appease the large demand for cruise ships there but the future may lay in China, according to a report by the Shanghai International Port Group.  In fact, double-digit growth is expected over the next few years.  

Right now, 232 passenger liners serve China, which is an 87 percent rise from last year and it looks like Royal Caribbean is paying attention.  Michael Bayley, senior vice president of Royal Caribbean Cruises, had this to say, 

"China has a potential of around 40 million cruise guests annually if the market penetration reached the level of US and Europe"