Royal Caribbean is sending Ovation of the Seas to China


Royal Caribbean will send its third Quantum-class cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas, to China when she debuts in April 2016.

Ovation of the Seas will be home ported in Tianjin, China, 70 miles southeast of Beijing.

Sister ship Quantum of the Seas will be heading to China later this summer and together with Ovation of the Seas and three other Royal Caribbean ships, Royal Caribbean is poised for a monster offering in this new cruising market.

 Once launched, Ovation of the Seas’ maiden sailings will include a 52-night Global Odyssey from Southampton, U.K. to Tianjin. Vacationers can be among the first to experience the new ship on the 2016 Ovation Global Odyssey, which will open for sale on Thursday, March 26, 2015. Five itineraries will take guests to some of the world’s most iconic cities:

  • A seven-night England to Barcelona cruise, departing May 3, 2016 from Southampton
  • 16-night Barcelona to Dubai cruise, via the Suez Canal, departing May 10
  • 14-night India and Southeast Asia cruise, departing May 26 from Dubai to Singapore
  • Three-night Malaysia cruise, departing June 9 on a roundtrip sailing from Singapore
  • And 12-night Exotic Asia cruise, from Singapore to Tianjin.

Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley made the announcement earlier today, “Cruising has become very popular for Chinese consumers and Royal Caribbean is already capturing their imaginations with our industry-leading cruise ships,” said Bayley. “We are furthering our commitment by bringing two of the world’s newest and most advanced Quantum-class cruise ships to the region. In addition, we are significantly expanding our investment in the training and employment of Chinese talent so they can join us in delivering our amazing and distinctive vacations to Chinese travelers.”

The five ships Royal Caribbean will base in China will be homeporting in four metropolitan Chinese cities – Shanghai, Tianjin, Hong Kong and Xiamen – and primarily sailing three- to 12-night itineraries to destinations in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. Royal Caribbean’s summer 2016 Asia adventures will open for booking in August 2015.

The news Ovation of the Seas will be based in China confirms an earlier report we posted that the new mega ship was indeed heading there.


Royal Caribbean sets up staff training center in China


Royal Caribbean has set up a staff training center in China.  The new center is at in Tianjin Maritime College in north China's port city of Tianjin.

The new training center will have an area of over 13,000 square meters and offer training rooms for Western and Asian cooking, guest rooms and exhibition halls.

Royal Caribbean chief human resources officer, Maria Del Busto, said the cruise line will have five new cruise ships from China in the next couple of years.

Tianjin gained official approval for a national cruise liner tourism development zone last year.

Royal Caribbean sending Quantum of the Seas to China in 2015


Royal Caribbean announced today it will send its brand new Quantum of the Seas to home port in Shanghai (Baoshan), China in May 2015.

In China, Quantum of the Seas will join Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas in Asia, increasing the company’s capacity in the region by 66 percent.

The move by Royal Caribbean shows how important the Chinese cruise market is to Royal Caribbean by putting a brand new cruise ship there instead of the usual pattern of older ships going to Asia.


Royal Caribbean COO Adam Goldstein commented on the announcement, "Consumers in China have grown to expect the best the world has to offer, and Quantum of the Seas meets that standard like no other ship.  We are ready to accelerate the growth of this vital market with a ship that will capture the imagination of travelers looking for a one-of-a-kind vacation experience."

"Every trend we are seeing in China tells us we can achieve real long-term competitive advantage and appealing returns on our investments in this fast-growing market by accelerating our presence there,” Goldstein said. “We will have to be nimble, but the ability to move fast is one of our strengths."

To replace Quantum of the Seas once it leaves New York, Liberty of the Seas will sail up and take her place and offer cruises to the Bahamas and Caribbean for the winter of 2015-2016.

Royal Caribbean will use Oceans TV to provide Chinese movies


Royal Caribbean has reached an agreement to have UK based Oceans TV provide in-cabin entertainment for use onboard Voyager of the Seas while she is in China.

Voyager of the Seas will now offer in all of its staterooms popular Chinese movies, including the highest grossing domestic Chinese movie of all time, Lost in Thailand.

In addition to movies, Oceans TV supplies cruise lines with satellite TV channels, live TV events, international movies, promotional videos, safety films and portable entertainment systems such as the iPad.

This is the first time Oceans TV has licensed movies to the cruise industry.

Royal Caribbean CEO talks of success in China


Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein is proud of what his company has been able to achieve in terms of success in the China cruise market.

"China is already our third-largest market in the world, behind the US and the UK, which is amazing, and we believe it will grow even more," said Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.

Royal Caribbean reported the number of passengers embarking on China home-ported sailings has quadrupled from 25,000 in 2010 to 115,000 last year.  This year, Royal Caribbean is expecting to see that number rise to 300,000 guests.

Goldstein believes that it will take some more time, but eventually the Chinese cruise market will eclipse the United States cruise market, however, he does see it will bypass the UK cruise market in the next five years.

Part of Royal Caribbean's success was bringing bigger ships over, including Voyager of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas.

"When we first came to China in 2008, and talked about 2,000 people getting on in Shanghai and getting off in South Korea, no one believed it," Goldstein recalled.

China's cruise industry could face challenges


Royal Caribbean has been a big player in China's nascent cruise industry but some are concerned that obstacles in the near-future will hamper its growth overall.  

Royal Caribbean chairman in Shanghai, Liu Zinan, feels tighter integration between the cruise companies and government is essential, "The government, the local authorities, need to support the cruise lines in exercising international practice here."

Since cruise tourism was introduced in China less than 10 years ago, five cruise terminals have been built at an estimated cost of more than 4.5 billion yuan (US$736 million). Three more are under construction and another six are in the pipeline.

Royal Caribbean estimates in Shanghai and Tianjin, the combined investment in cruise infrastructure has topped 12.3 billion yuan.

The danger lies in these facilities not returning on the investment, with losses common thus far.  

Mariner of the Seas arrives in Shanghai, China for first time


Earlier today Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas arrived in Shanghai, China with more than 4,300 passengers at the Shanghai Wusong Paotaiwan International Cruise Terminal. This was the first time Mariner of the Seas has stopped in China and her arrival was met with a small ceremony.

To commemorate Mariner of the Seas' arrival in Shanghai, the Captain was presented with this papercut piece hand-crafted in the Baoshan district.

Mariner of the Seas follows the other large Royal Caribbean ship to stop in Shanghai, Voyager of the Seas.  Mariner of the Seas will operate in and around Shanghai until October 26, with a total of 52 calls in Shanghai.

Her visit to Shanghai comes immediately after Mariner of the Seas was the first cruise ship to dock in the brand new Hong Kong cruise terminal earlier in the voyage.

Royal Caribbean expects Asia cruise growth to follow U.S. growth


With the Chinese becoming richer, Royal Caribbean is expecting the booming Asian cruise market to repeat the United States growth rate over the last three decades.

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein commented on the growth the company expects to see, "The number of Asians cruising today is very similar to the number of Americans who were cruising in 1980s. While the markets are not the same, we think that China has terrific potential to grow."

Industry data points to the global cruise market will grow an estimated 4.5 percent, with Asians making up 1.5 million of the total number.  That number looks a lot like how many Americans were cruising 30 years ago, Goldstein said. The number of U.S. voyagers has grown to about 12 million, and Asia accounts for only 6 to 7 percent of the world’s total cruises, he said.

One issue for a company like Royal Caribbean is educating Chinese consumers about cruising but Goldstein feels China will overtake the United Kingdom in two to three years in terms of demand.

The number of Chinese passengers at Royal Caribbean quadrupled to 100,000 last year from 25,000 in 2012 and is expected to double to 200,000 this year, Goldstein said.

Royal Caribbean considering opening new training base in China


Royal Caribbean is discussing with city officials of Tianjin, China to possibly open a new cruise talent training center in the port city.

Royal Caribbean plans to set up a Chinese cruise talent base at Tianjin Maritime College, which will be capable of training up to 100 students a month, according to Tianjin Daily newspaper.

Chinese cruise market booming for Royal Caribbean


Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas has made its maiden voyage to China, stopping in Shanghai on Tuesday to begin the ship's summer itinerary.  The arrival culminates Royal Caribbean's shift in attention to China and already, the company is making good on its investments.

Lisa Bauer, senior vice-president, global sales and marketing, of Royal Caribbean, commented on the market in China, "China's cruise market is young and vibrant. Royal Caribbean International is optimistic about the development of the cruise industry here and will continue investment in this market."

Bauer said Royal Caribbean's business has grown tremendously since its entry into the China market in 2008, "The growth rate was above 50 percent at the beginning, when we entered China, and now it is over 100 percent."

Shanghai is aiming to make itself a major cruise center, with a new Five-Year Plan to hopefully become the third cruise center in East Asia, after Singapore and Hong Kong.

Michael Liu, Royal Caribbean China public relations and communications manager, thinks as more mega ships arrive in China, renovation and maintenance are becoming a market with huge potential, "Currently, we have to sail the ships to Singapore for renovation."

Bauer said the line has strict requirements for repair facilities and port infrastructure.

"We are generally satisfied with the infrastructure here but also believe there is still room for improvement," she said, noting that the company is talking with local governments and companies about wider cooperation, including renovation for the ships.

Royal Caribbean plans to introduce Mariner of the Seas, the sister of Voyager, to Shanghai next year, to meet surging demand from Chinese customers.