China deal for Royal Caribbean

RCL partners with Xiamen gov and China World Cruises
China deal for Royal Caribbean

By Rebecca Gibson |

Royal Caribbean International has entered into a strategic relationship with the Xiamen municipal government and China World Cruises (CWC) that involves CWC, a subsidiary of Beijing-based property and theme park developer Shan-Hai-Shu, chartering Legend of the Seas for a total of four months in 2012.

During the four months, Royal Caribbean will operate and market 21 three-eight night sailings from Xiamen, as well as Shanghai, Tianjin and Hong Kong, to ports of call in Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan and Korea. The inaugural, five-night charter sailing will depart from Hong Kong on 20 March 20, while the first departure of guests from Xiamen will be on 26 March.

The time charter agreement is supported by the Xiamen municipal government as part of the government’s development of Xiamen as the fourth cruise home port for Royal Caribbean in China, following Shanghai, Tianjin and Hong Kong.

“This is an incredible opportunity and is unique to the fast growing cruise industry in Asia,” said Dr Zinan Liu, Royal Caribbean’s group managing director for China and Asia. “We are the first cruise brand to bring together the support of the government and local private industry.

Working with the Xiamen municipal government, Xiamen-based CWC aims to invest around US$5 billion in the Xiamen waterfront area and harbour district to develop a ‘Cruise Homeport City’, with a theme park, retail units, luxury hotels, condominiums, as well as a new, four-berth cruise terminal. Xiamen is located between Shanghai and Hong Kong.

“China holds amazing opportunities for the cruise industry, including port infrastructure development to attracting vacationers from around the world,” says Michael Bayley, executive vice president of international at Royal Caribbean Cruises.

The strategic relationship with the Xiamen municipal government and China World Cruises follows the announcement in June that Royal Caribbean will deploy Voyager of the Seas to China in June 2012.

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