Afloat, Chinese style

Updated: 2016-05-18 07:41

By Xu Lin(China Daily)

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Afloat, Chinese style

Tourists enjoy various kinds of facilities on board Costa cruises. Photos provided to China Daily

An international giant teams up with Chinese partners to create a new domestic cruise line, as a growing number of Chinese tourists take to the sea, Xu Lin reports.

The global cruise company Carnival Corporation & plc, expects to jointly launch a domestically owned cruise brand in the Chinese market, in cooperation with Chinese corporations.

The brand is expected to be operating in the market sometime in 2018. Pending market research will determine where that joint venture will be positioned in the marketplace, according to Arnold W. Donald, the group's president and CEO.

During President Xi Jinping's visit to Britain in October, the Carnival group signed a joint-venture agreement with China State Shipbuilding Corporation and China Investment Corporation.

"The cruise brand will focus on Chinese citizens, but we can't define what style that brand will be, such as luxury or contemporary, until the research is finished," says Donald, who recently visited China for more discussion with the Chinese partners. The group already runs popular cruise brands in China such as Costa and Princess.

China National Tourism Administration data shows 120 million Chinese traveled overseas in 2015. According to the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association, more than 1.11 million Chinese travelers took a cruise overseas in 2015, an increase of 50 percent over 2014. More than 120,000 foreigners visited China on a cruise, up 4.7 percent over 2014.

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