Carnival Corporation announced today that 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. The move will increase Carnival Corporation’s total capacity in China by an additional 58 percent in 2016, further accelerating the company’s leadership position in the growing Chinese market. Clearly, the Chinese market is well on its way to being the largest global cruise market.
Carnival Corporation’s China based ships will include expanded offerings from its two leading brands in the market – Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises. 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.
According to Carnival Corporation, 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, putting Princess Cruises in an even stronger position to serve the luxury cruise segment with its exclusive Princess Class experience designed specifically for the Chinese market.
China is obviously a booming market for cruising. While it hasn’t garnered much attention, the Chinese stock market isn’t exactly booming at the moment. That said, a relatively small amount of the Chinese population is invested in the stock market. It will be interesting to watch the impact of China’s stock market on cruising and the development of the cruising market in China overall.
-MJ, July 23, 2015