Carnival Corporation, through brands Costa and Princess Cruises has doubled its market share in Asia in the past two years. They forecast double-digit growth in the Asian market for the next decade, according to the company’s newly appointed COO, Alan Buckelew.
“The cruise vacation market is in its infancy in Asia, and we see this region as one with exciting growth potential,” Buckelew said.
Costa & Princess Cruises, two of Carnivals brands, have a total of five cruise ships with Asian home ports.
Additional Carnival Corp brands sailing part of the year in Asia include AIDA Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises and Seabourn.
In July 2013, Carnival announced the opening of five new offices in China, Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Chengdu to represent Princess Cruises and support the brand’s increased passenger sourcing.
Offices were also opened in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Japan. The offices also support sister cruise brand Cunard Line.
In August 2013, Princess Cruises announced it would enter the China market in 2014, naming Shanghai as the home port for Sapphire Princess for a four-month season expected to cater to 70,000 passengers. The round-trip cruises will begin in May.
“The Asia market is critical to our long-term success, so we will continue to invest in this market through our people and our resources,” Buckelew said. “Our new offices opened in Asia last year will support our efforts to increase the number of passengers sourced for our home port cruises in the region.”
The Costa Victoria first entered the China market in May 2012, heralded as Asia’s first fashion cruise and admired by China’s fashion elite for its array of European designer items at duty-free prices.
“Our investment in Costa Victoria means she is offering our valued Chinese passengers the finest and most enjoyable cruising holiday, which speaks to our long-term commitment to this market,” said Buhdy Bok, senior vice-president, Pacific Asia & China of Costa Crociere SPA.
“As the first international cruise company to enter the China market in 2006, Costa Cruises is proud of how we’ve developed alongside China and have been able to satisfy the rapidly growing demand for cruise holidays with innovative and high-quality cruising options.”
Costa was also the first company to position two cruise ships in Asia year round. In July 2013, the Costa Atlantica joined the Costa Victoria. Both ships are fully dedicated to the local Chinese market.