Princess Cruises has revealed that Yao Ming and his wife, Ye Li, will serve as its first ever “ambassadors” in China.
The basketball couple will also name the new Majestic Princess cruise ship during its inauguration ceremony in Shanghai on 9 July. The 3,560-passenger Majestic Princess is currently sailing from Rome to its new home in China.
“It is a great honour that Yao Ming and Ye Li have graciously accepted our invitation to officially name Majestic Princess and serve as the inaugural cruise ambassadors at our celebration welcoming our newest ship to China,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises.
“Yao Ming is globally recognised for his success in China and the United States, truly embodying the ‘east meets west’ spirit of our international cruise line.”
Yao Ming and Ye Li were both born in Shanghai and were members of China’s national basketball teams. Yao Ming is an eight-time NBA All-Star and an inductee into the NBA Hall of Fame.
The couple is also involved in humanitarian work; the Yao Foundation was established in 2008 in response to the devastating 8.0 earthquake in Sichuan province, and the couple has since established a series of charitable sporting events.
“We are honoured to serve as the inaugural cruise ambassadors for Princess Cruises and officially name the new Majestic Princess,” said Yao Ming. “I’m inspired that Princess Cruises also cares so deeply about youth development in China and appreciate their support of our foundation. We look forward to enjoying a future vacation aboard Majestic Princess, China’s newest cruise ship.”