HNA HennaInto its second year of operation, HNA Cruises is wasting no time in learning and improving upon its services in the cruise business.

“More and more Chinese tourists are discovering that taking a cruise is a way of experiencing different cultures while being on a resort that’s afloat,” said company spokesperson Yusheng Jiang.

In their endeavors to continuously understand and adjust to local needs and spending habits, the company has dropped gratuities onboard the Henna as tipping is not practiced in China. They have also refined the Chinese menu to suit local appetites further. There are game rooms for mahjong and card playing to address these two common hobbies of Chinese passengers. And guests will soon see a karaoke lounge added to the ship.

Talking to Cruise Industry News, Jiang said the company’s positioning for the Henna is very clear, to give the mass market a new experience.

HNA Cruises has been able to rely on the HNA Group, including HNA Tourism, to help in marketing and the overall product offering

For instance, across the group, divisions have worked together to create relevant tour offerings, while sharing the company’s customer database.

The collaboration is especially beneficial between HNA Cruises and Hainan Airlines as they can provide easy fly/cruise options that appeal to guests from central and western Chinese regions.

"This is an advantage that other operators in the market don’t have,” Jiang said. In addition, HNA Cruises is working with a few of HNA Group’s tour-related entities to push the cruise product. These include Caissa Touristic and Loyoyo.com which is an online tour consolidator platform.

Moving ahead, Jiang said that HNA’s development in the cruise industry will be based on leveraging group strengths, as well as expanding its fleet (she did not provide a timeline).

“In 10 years, the plan is to have 10 ships and seventy percent of the capacity sourced outside of China,” said Jiang.

However, at this early stage, the company is still learning the ropes with the Henna.

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Fall 2014