Hao Zhang, CEO of HNASince its maiden voyage on January 26, 2013, from Sanya, China, HNA Cruises continues to make waves and gain ground within the Chinese cruise marketplace.

Hao Zhang, CEO of HNA Cruises, is pleased with its steady development thus far.

“We have served over 20,000 passengers onboard the Henna,” he said, in an exclusive interview with Cruise Industry News. “Our sales channel is expanding fast and brand awareness in the cruise market is increasing healthily. We are on track to prove the viability of our unique business model.”

Looking ahead, Zhang now has the experience to develop a 10-year strategic plan for his cruise operation, with a goal of having some 10 to 15 ships.

Zhang told Cruise Industry News that the Henna is a bold step to test the waters in the cruise business.

“Despite the flaws and disadvantages of being a new player without operational experience, all signs are pointing to more and deeper investment into the cruise industry. Just like our sister company, Hainan Airlines, HNA Cruises sets its eyes on being a global player,” Zhang said optimistically.

>> Also in this section: In-depth analysis of every major Asia-Pacific cruise operator, a look at travel agent distribution, port options in China, and port news from the entire region, along with Malaysia’s potential as a cruise destination

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Fall 2013