|Norwegian Cruise Line has committed the NEW Norwegian Joy to the Chinese Market|
Cruise operators are always looking for new markets to expand their cruise passenger draw. China is the object of focus by many cruise lines. Royal Caribbean probably was the first western cruise line to enter the China Market. One could argue that Costa Cruises had a presence in China earlier. What was most unique about Royal Caribbean's entry into China was the entry utilized a brand new ship - the Quantum of the Seas. For entry into new markets most cruise lines use their older tonnage. Using new ships into a market entry is almost unheard of. In addition, this has made it difficult for cruise lines to determine where they send their older ships. The Mediterranean still seems to be the location of choice for older ships.
Following the lead of Costa and Royal Caribbean - Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises have all committed young or brand new ships to the market. Interesting enough, AIDA Cruises -had announced last month that the German operator was going to start sailing from China - offering a traditional German experience - This month they have announced a chnage in plans that the ship will remain in the Med.
Just this week it was announced that cruise lines are thinking of offering ships purely dedicated to the Chinese market in the Mediterranean and Caribbean as well - offering, food, entertainment and activities appreciated by Chinese clientele.