Carnival’s Chinese joint venture inks deal to build two new cruise ships

Carnival Corporation’s Chinese joint venture has agreed to order two new cruise ships to be built in China for the domestic market.

The world’s largest cruise company announced late last week that its joint venture with China State Shipbuilding Corporation and Italy-based Fincantieri has signed a non-binding memorandum of agreement to order two of China’s first domestically built cruise ships. The agreement includes options for up to two additional vessels.

Carnival said the new ships are expected for delivery in 2022. The company says that the new ships will be based on its Vista-class platform, with a design tailored for the new Chinese cruise brand and the specific tastes of Chinese travelers.

The Chinese joint venture was announced last October with plans to launch China’s first domestic cruise brand using ships purchased from Carnival’s existing fleet. Based on the new agreement, the joint venture will add two China-built cruise ships to the portfolio.

Carnival announced separately that the joint venture has been granted approval to officially incorporate in Hong Kong.

“We are excited about the potential for the first new cruise ships to be built and deployed in China for the enjoyment of Chinese travelers, which will be an important milestone in the development of the Chinese cruise market,” said Alan Buckelew, global chief operations officer for Carnival Corporation. “As we work with our Chinese partners to launch the first domestic Chinese cruise brand in the next few years, being able to offer cruises on China-built cruise ships represents a new opportunity for us to generate excitement and demand for cruising amongst a broader segment of the Chinese vacation market, which is already the largest in the world and continues to see strong growth every year.”

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