At a press conference today in Beijing, China, executives from Royal Caribbean International announced that the recently revitalized Mariner of the Seas will head to Asia in June 2013 and offer itineraries from China and Singapore to Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea throughout the rest of the year.

The company stated that the addition of a second 3,114-passenger ship to China, to join Voyager of the Seas, illustrates its commitment to the growing cruise industry in Asia. Together, the two ships represent the two largest capacity cruise ships operating in the region. 

While the Voyager is committed to sourcing passengers in China, according to company sources, the Mariner will be sourcing passengers both from China and international markets. Meanwhile, the Legend of the Seas, which has operated out of Singapore and Shanghai for the past three years, will return to Europe.

Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, made the announcement with Dr. Zinan Liu, group managing director for China and Asia.

Royal Caribbean International will deploy Mariner of the Seas to China in June 2013. Offering itineraries ranging from three to 12 nights, the move is designed to offer additional capacity to a fast growing Chinese cruise vacation population, as well as attract cruise guests from around the world to visit China and sail around Asia. The ship will adopt the same product customizations made for Voyager of the Seas' entry in the market – including Chinese-style menus, as well as enhanced retail and entertainment offerings, and language services.

“The opportunities to attract guests from China to cruise are abundant,” said Goldstein. “We’ve made it clear we see Asia in general, and China in particular, as a strategic objective,” added Fain.  “We have been so pleased by the market’s response to bringing Voyager of the Seas to Asia that it made strategic sense to send a second ship of equal size.”

The Mariner will depart the Caribbean in April and head to Singapore and onto China via Dubai and the Suez Canal. 

“This is another major step forward, in a short period of time, for the cruise industry in China,” said Dr. Liu. “The feedback from guests sailing with Royal Caribbean has been tremendously positive, and we look forward to continuing to work with other Chinese ports and travel partners to further develop the country’s overall cruise economy,” added Dr. Zinan. 

Underscoring the significance of the growing Chinese cruise economy and established desire to sail with Royal Caribbean International, Voyager of the Seas is confirmed to return to China in 2013 for a second season.