The appointment demonstrates the importance Carnival Corporation attaches to the China market as an upcoming strong pillar of its global business.

With a career spanning more than three decades in the cruise and shipping industry, Michael Thamm has served as CEO of Costa Group since Jul. 1, 2012. He will continue leading Costa Group's global business and drive its success, in addition to his Asia role.

On Oct. 21, 2015, Carnival Corporation partnered with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and CIC Capital Corporation to form a joint venture in China. It intends to launch the first world-class, multi-ship domestic-owned cruise brand using ships that are purchased from Carnival Corporation's existing fleet and homeported in China. The joint venture would then add new China-built cruise ships to further accelerate growth in the Chinese cruise market, which is expected to eventually become the largest cruise market in the world.