Carnival Corporation & plc plans to further expand its operations in China with the deployment of two additional cruise brands in China in 2017. Carnival Cruise Line and AIDA Cruises will join Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises in the Chinese market, making Carnival Corporation the first company to operate four brands in China – which is expected to eventually become the world's largest cruise market based on surging demand for cruise vacations by Chinese travelers.
As a result of Carnival Corporation's expansion in China in 2017, four of its 10 brands will have at least one homeported cruise ship in China, further bolstering the company's industry-leading presence in the market. The plan to deploy two additional ships – one new ship each for both its Carnival and AIDA brands – and operate four total brands in China in 2017 embodies Carnival Corporation's long-term, multi-brand strategy to provide Chinese travelers with a variety of vacation options and experiences to meet growing demand across all segments of the Chinese market.
Carnival Corporation announced in July that its existing brands already sailing in China – Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises – will continue to expand in 2016 with each brand introducing a new ship to its fleet in China in 2016, making Carnival Corporation the first global cruise company with six total ships based in China and extending the company's industry-leading market presence in the overall market.
The expansion of Carnival Corporation's China fleet to six ships will represent a 58 percent increase in total capacity in China in 2016, including three year-round ships and three seasonal ships in the market. Together, the Costa and Princess brands will potentially offer about four million passenger cruise days in 2016, giving Chinese guests more choice and flexibility in both the contemporary and luxury segments.
Building on its expanding presence in China in 2016, Princess Cruises, a leader in worldwide destinations, just announced last week the name of its new ship that will be based year-round in China when it is introduced in summer 2017. Based in Shanghai, the all-new Majestic Princess will be the first year-round cruise ship built specifically for Chinese guests incorporating a unique blend of international and Chinese features.
Carnival Corporation is also exploring potential joint ventures in China with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and China Merchants Group (CMG) designed to accelerate the growth of the overall cruise industry in China, including the possibility of launching a world-class Chinese domestic cruise brand, building new ships in China, and supporting port and infrastructure development. These efforts support Carnival Corporation's commitment to help China realize its goal to develop cruising as a key economic driver for its economy and become one of the leading cruise markets in the world.