Left to right: Ye Li and Yao Ming will name Majestic Princess during a ceremony in Shanghai on 9 July (Image: Princess Cruises)
Eight-time NBA All-Star Yao Ming and his wife Ye Li, a former basketball player on China’s national team, are to serve as Inaugural Cruise Ambassadors for Princess Cruises in China, and officially name the new Majestic Princess this July.
Ming and Li were born in Shanghai, China and were both members of China’s national basketball teams. Today, Ming is a global ambassador for basketball and was recently inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.
On 9 July, the couple will christen Majestic Princess during a gala ceremony in Shanghai, which follows weeks of celebrations on the ship’s maiden cruises.
“We are honoured to serve as the Inaugural Cruise Ambassadors for Princess Cruises and officially name the new Majestic Princess,” said Ming. “I’m inspired that Princess Cruises also cares so deeply about youth development in China and appreciate their support of our foundation. We look forward to enjoying a future vacation aboard Majestic Princess, China’s newest cruise ship.”
Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, said: “It is a great honour that Yao Ming and Ye Li have graciously accepted our invitation to officially name Majestic Princess and serve as the Inaugural Cruise Ambassadors at our celebration welcoming our newest ship to China. Yao Ming is globally recognised for his success in China and the US, truly embodying the ‘East meets West’ spirit of our international cruise line.”
Designed specifically for the Chinese market, Majestic Princess is currently sailing on her ‘Silk Road Sea Route’ – a 49-day journey from Rome, Italy to Shanghai, China. The journey retraced the ancient Chinese maritime Silk Road trade route and will take guests to 22 ports including Athens, Greece; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Cochin, India; Singapore; Port Klang, Malaysia; and Xiamen, China. On 11 July, Majestic Princess will begin her first cruise from her new Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal homeport.
Majestic Princess will offer two new 14-day ‘Grand Asia’ voyages from Shanghai to Singapore on 25 February 2018, and then Singapore to Shanghai on 11 March. The vessel will move to Australia and sail a series of cruises between September 2018 and March 2019, before returning to China.