Carnival Corporation is moving to assert itself as the largest cruise company in China.

“We are excited about China and the vision to build it into the world’s largest cruise market,” said Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation, speaking at the ninth edition of the China Cruise Shipping Expo in Tianjin hosted by the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association.

Carnival will carry some 500,000 passengers in China this year.

In bigger news, Carnival signed a MOU with China State Shipbuilding to explore the possibility of building ships in China. (see related story about a new Carnival brand)

“This is a joint venture to look into shipbuilding to accelerate the growth of the market,” Donald added.

Carnival has been busy building up, opening 10 offices in China for a fleet in Asia that includes seven brands, 27 ships and features 220 port calls in China in 2014.

“It has doubled from 2013,” said Donald. “At Carnival we believe this will someday be the largest market in the word.”

And that will require China to keep up, Donald continued, meaning port infrastructure, visa exemption work and more.

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