As reported by Cruise Industry News in July, Ctrip has entered the cruise industry with the purchase of the Celebrity Century, and rumors persist about another vessel or two following her in a major move by Ctrip.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced today that it has entered into an agreement to sell its cruise ship Celebrity Century to Exquisite Marine Ltd., a holding company led by Ctrip.com International Ltd.
Ctrip is a major online Chinese travel agency which says it sells 10 percent of all cruise tickets going to Chinese passengers.
The sale will result in a non-cash loss of approximately $20 million dollars. This loss will be excluded from adjusted net income in Royal's third quarter results, according to a statement.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. will continue to operate Celebrity Century until April 2015.
"Since its inaugural sailing, Celebrity Century has created many wonderful memories for hundreds of thousands of guests, and we expect this successful history to continue as she transitions to the Chinese cruise market," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "The vessel's sale is an excellent business opportunity for both Royal Caribbean and Ctrip, and will generate strong value for both companies' shareholders."
Celebrity Century will complete its scheduled sailings through the March 22, 2015, itinerary. The 15-night, Dubai to Rome sailing on April 5, 2015 is being redeployed to a 14-night sailing from Dubai to Singapore. Guests with affected individual bookings and named group bookings on Celebrity Century's April 5, 2015 sailing from Dubai to Rome have the option to either cancel their booking and receive a full refund or move to an alternative sailing and receive a re-accommodation onboard credit as well as compensation to cover air change fees. Guests with reservations affected by the transition will be proactively contacted by Celebrity Cruises. Guests and Travel Agents with specific questions are welcome to call 1-888-283-7275.
Celebrity Century joined the Celebrity Cruises fleet in December 1995, and was built by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. The 71,545-ton ship carries 1,814 guests (double occupancy) and 860 crew.