The world’s leading cruise brand, Royal Caribbean International, is targeting the Chinese market, where it might cooperate more broadly with domestic companies, including work on ship renovation and maintenance. The largest cruise ship in Asia, Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas, arrived at the Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal on Tuesday to start its summer cruise itinerary. The ship will sail to Japan and South Korea. Tickets for the maiden voyage sold out months in advance. Many other sailings are being offered by travel agencies.
Shanghai is determined to make itself into a center for international cruises. Under the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), Shanghai will become the third cruise center in East Asia, after Singapore and Hong Kong. The scale of the cruise economy is estimated to reach 15 billion yuan ($2.4 billion) to 20 billion yuan, the People’s Daily reported last week. Royal Caribbean plans to introduce Mariner of the Seas, the sister of Voyager, to Shanghai next year, to meet surging demand from Chinese customers.