On the back of a strategic partnership agreement signed in March, 2018 with the city of Sasebo and MLIT Japan, Carnival Corp is to construct and operate a new terminal, scheduled to open in summer 2020.
Carnival said that the partners in the Sasebo development project are working together on an efficient, contemporary design for the terminal to accommodate the corporation’s existing and newest ships. Under the 20-year agreement, Carnival Corp and its cruise line brands will be granted berthing preference, enabling them to provide guests with optimised itineraries when visiting the port.
“As the cruise industry’s first terminal in Japan, this ground breaking is a historic day for all of us at Carnival Corporation and for our partners in this exciting project,” said Michael Thamm, group CEO, Costa Group and Carnival Asia. “This new terminal will complement our strong presence in the Asia/Pacific region and furthers our commitment to help facilitate the rising demand for cruise vacations in the region, enabling even more people from around the world to discover why Japan is such an extraordinary destination, one that many of our guests have long enjoyed. And as our company’s first cruise terminal investment in Japan, we are excited to mark the start of our long-term relationship. We are actively working on future investment opportunities to help further support growth and expand the Japanese cruise industry for years to come.”
Japan’s ports have recorded considerable growth over the past few years, and cruising continues to increase in popularity in Asia. The company will continue to work with Japan’s government and MLIT to identify potential additional port development opportunities and future investments in the country, it said.
Japan is a popular destination for seven of Carnival Corp’s cruise line brands, including AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises (UK), Princess Cruises and Seabourn.
Overall, Carnival Corp is expecting to accommodate an estimated 2 mill passenger movements in the market in 2019, with nearly 800 calls from 15 ships from the company’s cruise line brands to over 50 ports in Japan.