New: Joint ven­ture to build more cruise ships

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 13 Busi­ness -

At­lantica’s sis­ter ship, the Costa Mediter­ranea, will be trans­ferred at a later date, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

Be­sides, the joint ven­ture signed a con­tract to or­der two new cruise ships, the first China-built large cruise fleet.

The two new cruise ships will be con­structed by Shang­hai Waigao­qiao Ship­build­ing Co Ltd, a Sta­te­owned ship­yard in Shang­hai. The first ship is ex­pected to be de­liv­ered in 2023 to serve the Chi­nese cruise mar­ket.

The agree­ment also gives the joint ven­ture the op­tion to or­der four ad­di­tional China-built cruise ships to serve the grow­ing de­mand of Chi­nese con­sumers.

Thamm of Car­ni­val Asia said: “As a large, dy­namic and un­der­pen­e­trated cruise mar­ket with con­tin­ued long-term pro­jec­tions for out­bound tourism growth, China rep­re­sents a sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­nity for the cruise in­dus­try to raise aware­ness, con­sid­er­a­tion and de­mand for cruise va­ca­tions in the com­ing years.”

But the cruise in­dus­try in China faces a sig­nif­i­cant hir­ing chal­lenge in the face of grow­ing de­mand. By 2020, the tal­ent gap in the sec­tor will reach 280,000, ac­cord­ing to the Cruise Lines In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion.

MSC Cruises, one of the ma­jor cruise lines with a dom­i­nant mar­ket share in Europe, South Amer­ica and South Africa, en­tered the China mar­ket in 2010. The com­pany said up to 2022, it needs 32,000 new crew mem­bers, in­clud­ing en­try-level em­ploy­ees and mid-level man­agers.

The com­pany said it is ac­tively look­ing for part­ner­ships with ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions in China, and would like to build a global net­work of MSC train­ing acad­e­mies.

It also said its crew mem­bers will be taught lan­guages and be made el­i­gi­ble to serve in ships around the world, as per the com­pany’s staff ro­ta­tion pol­icy that cov­ers its whole fleet.

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