Carnival Cruises will base a record four ships in China next year.
The company has announced that it will homeport the Costa Serena in Shanghai for a year-round deployment from April 2015, where it will join Costa Victoria and Costa Atlantica, both already deployed in China, and Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess.
With four ships based in China for the first time, Carnival’s capacity in the country will have jumped 66% since 2014 and 140% over the last two years.
“Carnival Corporation has for years recognised that Chinese travellers would love the cruising experience, and that is why Costa Cruises was the first global cruise line to commit to sailing from China back in 2006,” said Carnival’s CEO Arnold Donald.
“We have never been more committed to China as a market of great strategic importance for our company, and with today’s news we will be the only global cruise company to have four ships operating out of China,” he added.
Costa Serena has a capacity of 3,780 passengers, and offers such facilities as a 4D cinema, motor racing simulator, theatres, a casino, spa and shopping centre.
Carnival now operates five offices in China, in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Chengdu, as it develops its infrastructure in a country which it believes will becomes the world’s second largest cruise market by 2017.