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Mariner of the Seas arrives in Shanghai, China for first time


Earlier today Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas arrived in Shanghai, China with more than 4,300 passengers at the Shanghai Wusong Paotaiwan International Cruise Terminal. This was the first time Mariner of the Seas has stopped in China and her arrival was met with a small ceremony.

To commemorate Mariner of the Seas' arrival in Shanghai, the Captain was presented with this papercut piece hand-crafted in the Baoshan district.

Mariner of the Seas follows the other large Royal Caribbean ship to stop in Shanghai, Voyager of the Seas.  Mariner of the Seas will operate in and around Shanghai until October 26, with a total of 52 calls in Shanghai.

Her visit to Shanghai comes immediately after Mariner of the Seas was the first cruise ship to dock in the brand new Hong Kong cruise terminal earlier in the voyage.

Royal Caribbean expects Asia cruise growth to follow U.S. growth


With the Chinese becoming richer, Royal Caribbean is expecting the booming Asian cruise market to repeat the United States growth rate over the last three decades.

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein commented on the growth the company expects to see, "The number of Asians cruising today is very similar to the number of Americans who were cruising in 1980s. While the markets are not the same, we think that China has terrific potential to grow."

Industry data points to the global cruise market will grow an estimated 4.5 percent, with Asians making up 1.5 million of the total number.  That number looks a lot like how many Americans were cruising 30 years ago, Goldstein said. The number of U.S. voyagers has grown to about 12 million, and Asia accounts for only 6 to 7 percent of the world’s total cruises, he said.

One issue for a company like Royal Caribbean is educating Chinese consumers about cruising but Goldstein feels China will overtake the United Kingdom in two to three years in terms of demand.

The number of Chinese passengers at Royal Caribbean quadrupled to 100,000 last year from 25,000 in 2012 and is expected to double to 200,000 this year, Goldstein said.

Royal Caribbean considering opening new training base in China


Royal Caribbean is discussing with city officials of Tianjin, China to possibly open a new cruise talent training center in the port city.

Royal Caribbean plans to set up a Chinese cruise talent base at Tianjin Maritime College, which will be capable of training up to 100 students a month, according to Tianjin Daily newspaper.

Chinese cruise market booming for Royal Caribbean


Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas has made its maiden voyage to China, stopping in Shanghai on Tuesday to begin the ship's summer itinerary.  The arrival culminates Royal Caribbean's shift in attention to China and already, the company is making good on its investments.

Lisa Bauer, senior vice-president, global sales and marketing, of Royal Caribbean, commented on the market in China, "China's cruise market is young and vibrant. Royal Caribbean International is optimistic about the development of the cruise industry here and will continue investment in this market."

Bauer said Royal Caribbean's business has grown tremendously since its entry into the China market in 2008, "The growth rate was above 50 percent at the beginning, when we entered China, and now it is over 100 percent."

Shanghai is aiming to make itself a major cruise center, with a new Five-Year Plan to hopefully become the third cruise center in East Asia, after Singapore and Hong Kong.

Michael Liu, Royal Caribbean China public relations and communications manager, thinks as more mega ships arrive in China, renovation and maintenance are becoming a market with huge potential, "Currently, we have to sail the ships to Singapore for renovation."

Bauer said the line has strict requirements for repair facilities and port infrastructure.

"We are generally satisfied with the infrastructure here but also believe there is still room for improvement," she said, noting that the company is talking with local governments and companies about wider cooperation, including renovation for the ships.

Royal Caribbean plans to introduce Mariner of the Seas, the sister of Voyager, to Shanghai next year, to meet surging demand from Chinese customers.

Photo of the day: Voyager of the Seas in Shanghai, China


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Voyager of the Seas arrives in Xiamen, China


Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas arrived yesterday in Xiamen, China after she departed Singapore, thus marking the first stop in China for the mega ship.

According to Royal Caribbean's Managing Director of China and Asia, Liu Zinan, the city of Xiamen was chosen as the first stop for Voyager of the Seas in China because Xiamen has a geographical advantage and it is a cruise ship market with huge potential.

This is the first time a giant cruise ship has docked in China, which signifies Royal Caribbean beginning to take the Chinese cruise market seriously.

After Xiamen, Voyager of the Seas will sail to Shanghai.

Royal Caribbean deploying Mariner of the Seas to China in 2013


Royal Caribbean is sending Mariner of the Seas to China in 2013 to join sister ship Voyager of the Seas that was already going to the Far East.  Together, Royal Caribbean will be able to offer cruises to Southeast Asia, Japan and South Korea.

Mariner of the Seas will arrive in China in June 2013 and offer a number of itineraries from 3 to 12 nights.  The addition of Mariner of the Seas will offer additional capacity to a Chinese cruise market that is growing quickly.  Mariner will also adopt the same product customizations that Voyager of the Seas made to adapt to the Chinese marketing, such as Chinese-style menus, enhanced retail and entertainment offerings and language services.

To get to China, the ship will depart the Caribbean in April and head to Singapore and onto China via Dubai and the Suez Canal.

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein commented on the move, "2012 is for our company the year of China."

“We see Asia in general and China in particular as a major strategic objective for our company,” Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain said. “China has proven to be a very special market.”

Legend of the Seas will cruise from China to Japan on April 2


Royal Caribbean will offer an unique six-day cruise from Xiamen, China to Japan on April 2nd.  During this cruise, famous Taiwan singer-songwriter Fei Yu-ching will perform as a special guest on for a concert at sea, the first concert at sea to be held in Asia.

Legend of the Seas will visit two cities in Japan, including Kaoshima and Beppu.  Kaoshima is well known as the "Naples of the Eastern world" and Beppu is known for its geothermal hot spots.  Legend of the Seas will return to Shanghai, China on April 7th.

Legend of the Seas begins Chinese/Taiwan/Hong Kong cruise season


Legend of the Seas kick started the start of cruise travel between the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong with a 5-night cruise to Hong Kong and Taiwan from Xiamen, China on October 19th.

Two thousand passengers boarded the Vision class ship and it's the first cruise route with Xiamen as the port of embarkation.

A total of 21 cruise routes (13 start from Xiamen) will be launched from March to October next year to cover trips to Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia.

Royal Caribbean provides a strategic agreement with the government of Xiamen and China World Cruises


Royal Caribbean has entered into a strategic relationship with the municipal government of Xiamen and China World Cruises (CWC) in China including the CWC, a wholly owned subsidiary of property developer based in Beijing and the theme park of Shan-Hai-Shu, disposing of the Legend of the Seas for a total of four months in 2012.

During the four months, Royal Caribbean International operates 21 cruise, with departures from three to for eight nights from Xiamen and Shanghai, Tianjin and Hong Kong to ports of call in Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan and Korea. The five-night inaugural cruise from Hong Kong on March 20, 2012, while the first departure of the guests of Xiamen will be March 26.

The agreement with the full support of the Xiamen Municipal Government, is part of the development plan of the government of Xiamen, the fourth port-based Royal Caribbean International in China, after Shanghai, Tianjin and Hong Kong.

"This is an incredible opportunity for Royal Caribbean International, the municipal government of Xiamen and China World Cruises, and is truly unique to the rapid growth of the cruise industry in Asia," says Dr. Liu Zinan, CEO of the group Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. in China and Asia. "We are the first cruise brand to gather support from local governments and the private sector."

Working with the Xiamen municipal government, the CWC intends to invest about $ 5 billion in the Xiamen area facing the sea and the port area to develop a cruise port with an amusement park, shops, luxury hotels, condominiums and a new cruise terminal. Xiamen is located between Shanghai and Hong Kong, is less than 200 kilometers from Taipei, Taiwan, and is one of the most important ports and fastest growing along China's coast.

"China has great opportunities for the cruise industry, including the development of port infrastructure, and attracts tourists from around the world," said Michael Bayley, senior vice president of Royal Caribbean Cruises International Ltd.. "These are exciting times and we are delighted to work with the Xiamen Municipal Government and China World Cruises on this strategic partnership."

The Legend of the Seas is an award winning boat that has been operating in Asia, outside of Singapore since 2008 and in Shanghai since 2010.

"We believe that Royal Caribbean International is the right brand to work on developing the cruise industry in China," says George Buge Zhang, president of China World Cruises. "In a few years, has established itself as the market leader and have proven they know local market conditions and the needs and preferences of Chinese consumers."

The strategic agreement with the municipal government of Xiamen and China World Cruises follows the announcement that in June 2012 put the Royal Caribbean International Voyager of the Seas in the seas of China. Offering a variety of routes, between four and eight nights, the Voyager of the Seas will double the size of all cruise ships operating in China and the Asia-Pacific.

With 14 passenger decks and cabins 1556, Voyager of the Seas will begin its 2012 season in Asia with a cruise from Singapore, followed by tours of Shanghai (Baoshan) and Tianjin, including the ports of Kobe and Fukuoka, Japan, and Busan and Jeju in Korea until October. Voyager of the Seas will begin 14-night cruise departing from Sydney, Australia, November 24, 2012 to other ports in Australia and New Zealand, while the trails in early 2013 will include stops in Tasmania and the South Pacific.

The announcement of the agreement and the deployment of the Voyager of the Seas in Shanghai in 2012 as part of the strategy of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "to the diversification and global growth.