Three lines will base ships in Shanghai next year
Next year, some overseas cruise companies plan to introduce newships to China, reinforcing their long-term commitment to the market in the country. The cruises will cater to the demands of the Chinese customers, who have become savvy about cruising in recent years.
Here are three cruises that will homeport in Shanghai in 2017, with voyages to Japan and South Korea.
The German cruise ship AIDAbella is operated by AIDACruises, which is owned by global cruise company Costa, a company within the Carnival group.
“For sure we will keep its German heritage on board. It’s lifestyle-oriented and will be well accepted by families with multi-generations,” says Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises.
For many Chinese, “made in Germany” means high quality and they now have the opportunity to enjoy a premium cruise experience.
Guests can enjoy a German beer festival at sea — taste different German beers and watch traditional Bavarian performances. They can have bites of authentic German dishes and Chinese cuisine such as hotpot, and buy wellknown German brands including Rimowa in the dutyfree shops.
Those who travel with children can have kids of different ages looked after by professionals, and children can also play with their peers.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Costa’s entry into the China market.
Majestic Princess will arrive at Shanghai in July. It offers lively entertainment on board such as dancing. Families can watch two Las Vegasstyle production shows that cost more than $6 million to produce.
Onboard guests will have a breathtaking experience by strolling on a glass-floored walkway at sea, which it claims is the first one in China. They can also enjoy wine and have meals with a fantastic sea view.
Among its 20 restaurants and bars, Harmony serves classic Cantonese dishes. It’s created in partnership with chef Richard Chen, formerly atWingLei Restaurant, Wynn Las Vegas Resort, the first Chinese restaurant in North America that was awarded a Michelin star.
With an area of about 1,100 square meters, its duty-free shops boast luxury brands such as Cartier and Bulgari.
“Many Chinese have a deep desire to travel the world. Cruising is the easiest way to have an international experience on a short trip,” says Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. The company is owned by the global cruise company Carnival Corporation & plc.
She says cruising is like being in a floating hotel: “It’s still great value compared with a land vacation.”
Wang Ping, vice-president and general manager of Carnival China, attributes the line’s success to the booming market and its understanding of the guests.
According to her, Westerners just like to relax on board and sunbathe, but Chinese guests want to broaden their horizon and improve themselves via a trip.
“Our guests like to learn things, so we offer various programssuchas coursesoncooking and Western dining manners. We also want to attract them to spend more days on a voyage, so they can enjoy facilities and activities on board. ”
Norwegian Joy will set out from Shanghai in June. It can carry 3,850 guests.
Chinese artist Tan Ping designed its hull artwork — a colorful phoenix. The mythical bird, which is said to be the ruler of all birds, is “auspicious” in Chinese culture.
“We want to make a good first impression with our best ship. As our first ship in China, it’s especially designed for our Chinese guests,” says David J. Herrera, president of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings China.
It will offer as many as 28 restaurants and pubs on board, including a teahouse. Guests can have wide choices of dining experiences such as China’s regional cuisines and French and Japanese dishes.
“Food is essential for any cruise line. In China, meals are more important because you send much time dining with family and friends. Of course we have to prioritize that on our ship,” Herrera says.
He says he enjoys the multigeneration travel in China — father, mother, children and grandparents.
“We need to attract everyone in the family,” he says. “Our activities on board are appealing to all of them.”
Visitors enjoy their leisure on board a PrincessCruises ship.
Indonesia’s island of Bali has long been favored by foreign tourists.