As previously reported by Cruise Industry News, Carnival Corporation announced it will add two ships to its China fleet in 2016, making it the first global cruise company with six total ships based in China with the arrival of the Golden Princess as well as the Costa Fortuna.
The move will increase Carnival Corporation's total capacity in China by an additional 58 percent in 2016.
Across the two brands, Carnival Corporation will have three year-round ships and three seasonal ships in the market, representing the largest cruise presence in China in 2016.
Together, the Costa and Princess brands will potentially offer about four million passenger cruise days in 2016.
Based on the accelerating consumer demand for cruises in China, Carnival Corporation's added capacity is expected to significantly increase the company's total number of cruise passengers in China in 2016.
Included in this new deployment is today's announcement made during a press conference in Beijing that Princess Cruises will send its Golden Princess ship to northern China in 2016, sailing out of Tianjin on a seasonal basis, with itineraries visiting a variety of desirable destinations in northern Asia.
Golden Princess joins the brand's first China-based ship, Sapphire Princess, which has been homeported in Shanghai since 2014 and will start sailing year-round in China in 2016. The brand's two-ship deployment in 2016 will more than double its total available guest capacity in China compared to 2015.
Costa will debut Costa Fortuna in April 2016 as its fourth ship based in China. Costa Fortuna joins Costa Serena, Costa Atlantica and Costa Victoria already based in China, increasing the brand's total available capacity in China by 43 percent in 2016.
"Our Costa and Princess brands are performing extremely well in China, and these new ship deployments will strengthen our growth position and enable us to carry nearly one million passengers in 2016, as we continue executing our plan to meet surging consumer demand for cruising in China," said Alan Buckelew, chief operations officer for Carnival Corporation. "As momentum accelerates in the market, we have a significant opportunity to increase cruising demand amongst China's growing middle class and a new generation of Chinese travelers who are hungry for new vacation experiences."
Buckelew added: "Our focus is on exceeding guest expectations on every ship and really tailoring our product for Chinese tastes, which helps create new advocates and spread the joy of cruising in China. Through our brands, our expanding operations and our potential joint ventures in China, we're excited to play a lead role in helping China become one of the world's leading cruise markets."
In addition to expanding its industry-leading presence in China in 2016, Carnival Corporation recently announced that the latest ship under construction for its Princess brand will be based in China year-round when introduced in summer 2017. Based in Shanghai, the ship will be the first year-round international luxury vessel designed and built specifically for Chinese guests.