Carnival Corp has launched its cruise joint venture with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) under the name CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited.
The new China-based cruise company plans to operate its own fleet to serve Chinese cruise guests by the end of 2019.
Simultaneously, CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping announced that it will purchase two existing ships from Carnival Corp’s Costa Group.
The first ship, the 85,861 gt, 2,210-pax ‘Costa Atlantica’, is scheduled to be transferred to the new Chinese cruise line by the end of next year. ‘Costa Atlantica’s’ sistership, the 2,114-pax ‘Costa Mediterranea’, will be transferred at a date still to be announced.
In addition, CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping announced that it has signed a contract to finalise its previously announced agreement to order two new cruise ships that will be built in China and serve the Chinese cruise market.
The two new cruise ships will be constructed by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding
(SWS) with the first ship expected to be delivered in 2023.
The agreement also includes an option to order another four Chinese-built cruise ships.
CSSC and shipbuilder Fincantieri have established a separate joint venture to grant a technology license of the ship model platform and to provide technical and project service support to SWS throughout the shipbuilding process.
The two new ships will be built with a design tailored for the new joint venture and the specific tastes of Chinese travellers.
“The official launch of our cruise joint venture in China is a significant milestone in the strategic development of a strong and sustainable cruise industry in China,” said Arnold Donald, Carnival Corp CEO. “Together with our partners, we are excited about our ability to launch a new cruise line in China based on existing ships and new China-built cruise ships tailored for Chinese travellers.”
“The new cruise joint venture complements our existing presence in the market and strengthens our commitment to help China build a holistic ecosystem and become a leading global cruise market,” added Michael Thamm, group CEO, Costa Group and Carnival Asia. “We look forward to working with CSSC to further increase demand for cruising by generating broad awareness of why going on a cruise is an extraordinary holiday and exceptional value.”
“It is a strategic decision for CSSC to enter into the cruise industry in partnership with Carnival Corporation and Fincantieri,” said Lei Fanpei, chairman of CSSC. “Through the partnership with leading international enterprises, we will build a whole industrial chain including the cruise ship design and building, operations and supply chain, jointly promote industrial environment improvements and create an ecosystem that will nurture the sustainable growth of the cruise industry. Our cooperation continues to receive great support from the Chinese government at both the central and local levels. We wish to continue our win-win partnership from today on, to ensure the delivery of the first large cruise ship to be built in China by 2023.”
Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri, added: “This achievement with our strategic partners at Carnival Corporation and CSSC represents the hard work, determination and vision of our teams to continue developing the cruise industry for the benefit of Chinese travelers and capitalize on the enormous potential of the market.”
Bono added: “China represents a tremendous opportunity for the entire cruise industry, and we look forward to working together with our partners to leverage our collective expertise and leadership in the cruise sector to support China’s goal of developing its cruise shipbuilding capabilities and becoming a leading global cruise market.”
Costa Group will also introduce two new cruise vessels specifically designed for the Chinese market – ‘Costa Venezia’ in spring 2019 and a sistership in fall 2020.