Yao Ming and Ye Li at the naming ceremony (Image: Princess Cruises)
Princess Cruises officially welcomed its first China-bound ship, Majestic Princess, to its fleet, celebrating as basketball stars Yao Ming and his wife Ye Li christened the vessel in Shanghai on 9 July.
Ming and Li served as Inaugural Cruise Ambassadors for Princess Cruises during the gala naming ceremony.
“We are honoured to serve as the Majestic Princess Naming Ambassadors for Princess Cruises,” 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 cruise vacation aboard Majestic Princess.”
Other christening attendees included Wang Hong, the party secretary of China’s Baoshan District and director general of Shanghai International Cruise Business Institute; Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation; and Jan Swartz, group president, Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia. Invited guests included Chinese travel agent partners, national and local media and key opinions leaders.
“The Majestic Princess inaugural celebration was remarkable for Princess Cruises, as well as Carnival Corporation, as we continue to strategically reinforce our long-term commitment to the growing cruise industry in China,” said Arnold Donald, president and CEO at Carnival Corporation. “We believe all Chinese families will appreciate the value of cruising as a new vacation option and create life-long memories from their experiences aboard Majestic Princess.”
Majestic Princess is the third ship in Princess Cruises’ Royal-class ships, alongside Regal Princess and Royal Princess, and is the line’s first cruise ship to be designed specifically for Asian guests. The vessel offers multiple new innovations for Asian travellers.
“Majestic Princess, our new flagship, is a perfect demonstration of an ’East meets West’ international cruise vacation experience” said Swartz. “Representing over 50 years of experience, we are confident Majestic Princess has redefined the luxury cruising experience.”
The vessel recently completed her inaugural 49-day ‘Silk Road Sea Route’, which took guests from Rome, Italy to Shanghai via 22 ports including Athens, Greece; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Cochin, India; Singapore; Port Klang, Malaysia; Xiamen, China; Hong Kong; and Japan.
Majestic Princess embarked on her first cruise from her Shanghai port on 11 July, carrying 3,560 guests to a variety of cruise destinations. In 2018, the ship will sail two 14-day ‘Grand Asia’ voyages between Shanghai and Singapore, visiting Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and Hong Kong. The first voyage departs Shanghai on 25 February 2018, with the second departing Singapore on 11 March 2018.
Between September 2018 and March 2019, Majestic Princess will homeport in Sydney, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand offering 6- to 13-day voyages. Guests will be able to visit destinations in New Zealand, Tasmania, Fiji and other islands in the South Pacific.