Carnival Corporation and CSSC launch Chinese cruise brand

Carnival Corporation and CSSC launch Chinese cruise brand
Carnival Corporation's president and CEO Arnold Donald at the signing ceremony in China (Image: Carnival Corporation)

Carnival Corporation and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) have officially launched China’s only multi-ship brand and ordered two new ships, which will be the first to be built in China for the local market.

CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Ltd. will support the country’s efforts to grow its cruise industry as part of its five-year economic development plan. CSSC holds a majority share, while Carnival Corporation holds a minority interest.

“The official launch of our cruise joint venture in China is a significant milestone in the strategic development of a strong and sustainable cruise industry in China,” said Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation. “Together with our partners, we are excited about our ability to launch a new cruise line in China based on existing ships and new China-built cruise ships tailored for Chinese travellers.”

CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Ltd. has contracted Chinese shipyard Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co. (SWS) to build two new cruise vessels, the first of which will be delivered in 2023. The company also has the option to order four more vessels in future. Carnival Corporation will provide onsite supervision and support throughout all the ship construction projects.

In addition, CSSC has established a separate joint venture with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, which will provide technical and project service support to SWS throughout the shipbuilding process. SWS will also have access to Fincantieri’s ship model platform.

“It is a strategic decision for CSSC to enter into the cruise industry in partnership with Carnival Corporation and Fincantieri,” said Lei Fanpei, chairman of CSSC. “Through the partnership with leading international enterprises, we will build a whole industrial chain including the cruise ship design and building, operations and supply chain, jointly promote industrial environment improvements, and create an ecosystem that will nurture the sustainable growth of the cruise industry. Our cooperation continues to receive great support from the Chinese government at both the central and local levels. We wish to continue our win-win partnership from today on, to ensure the delivery of the first large cruise ship to be built in China by 2023.”

The new company has also agreed to purchase two existing ships from Carnival Corporation’s Costa Cruises’ brand – the 2,210-passenger Costa Atlantica and her sister ship, the 2,114-guest Costa Mediterranea. The former is set to be transferred to her new fleet by December 2019, while the latter will join at a later date.

“The new cruise joint venture complements our existing presence in the market and strengthens our commitment to help China build a holistic ecosystem and become a leading global cruise market,” said Michael Thamm, group CEO for Costa Group and Carnival Asia. “We look forward to working with CSSC to further increase demand for cruising by generating broad awareness of why going on a cruise is an extraordinary holiday and exceptional value.”

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
Thursday, November 8, 2018