MIAMI, May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world's largest cruise company, today announced Costa Serena will deploy year-round in China next year, making Carnival Corporation the first global cruise company with four ships based in China, the world's fastest-growing cruise market. The move will accelerate Carnival Corporation's leadership in China, capitalizing on growing consumer demand that is expected to make the country the second largest cruise market in the world by 2017.
Costa Cruises, one of Carnival Corporation's 10 industry-leading brands, announced today it will debut Costa Serena in Shanghai in April 2015, where it will join Costa Victoria and Costa Atlantica, both already deployed in China. The move will increase Costa's overall capacity in Asia by 74 percent.
The Costa Cruises expansion builds on eight years of successful operations in China and Carnival Corporation's surging momentum as the largest operator in the country. In addition to Costa Serena, another Carnival Corporation brand, Princess Cruises, will homeport out of Shanghai starting May 21 through Sept. 3, 2014, with Sapphire Princess, providing another unique cruising experience for Chinese travelers. Adding a third ship based in China this year increases Carnival Corporation's total 2014 capacity in the country by 66 percent. In 2015, with four ships based in China for the first time, Carnival's industry-leading capacity is expected to jump 140 percent over a two-year period.
"Carnival Corporation has for years recognized that Chinese travelers 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 Corporation 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. More than that, as the world's largest cruise company with a portfolio of 10 of the world's most celebrated cruise lines, we are very well positioned to continue working with government officials in China to help the country meet its goal of becoming one of the most important cruise markets in the world."
Donald added, "Today's news is another big step in that direction. Chinese travelers love sailing on Costa's Victoria and Atlantica, and we are confident they will also love sailing on Costa Serena and Sapphire Princess. Our team is passionate about delivering a unique experience designed to exceed the expectations of every guest who boards one of our ships."
Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group, said of today's expansion announcement: "Costa Serena's arrival in China is a monumental occasion for our company, and we're proud to be the first global cruise line to have three ships based in China. As we execute our strategy to accelerate growth in China, which has great market potential, we have the benefit of eight years of experience in China to not only help guide our expansion, but also to find unique ways to surprise and delight our guests as more travelers in China experience 'Italy at Sea' with Costa."
Carnival is investing significantly in China as well as in Asia to take advantage of strong growth opportunities across the region. In addition to investments in China, Carnival is concentrating on growth efforts in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea to maintain and expand its leadership position in Asia. Highlights of Carnival's strong momentum and leadership in the region include:
- Capacity: Industry-leading cruise presence in China in 2014 and 2015, including 66 percent increase in total 2014 capacity in China and 140 percent increase over a two-year period.
- Port Calls: Industry leader with 23 ships across seven brands visiting 90 ports in Asia with an estimated 1,439 port calls planned for 2014, including 220 port calls across five brands in China.
- Sales offices: Carnival operates 10 offices in Asia, more than any competitor, including five locations in China – Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
- Industry firsts: Costa was the first global cruise company to sail from China in 2006; Princess was the first global cruise line to offer a full season of sailing with a homeport in Japan, starting in 2013.
- Brand strength: Carnival Corporation has seven of its 10 brands sailing in Asia: Costa Cruises, Princess Cruises, AIDA Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises and Seabourn.
Carnival Corporation Introducing Sapphire Princess to China
Adding further to Carnival Corporation's commitment to China, the company's Princess Cruises brand will officially introduce Sapphire Princess to China on May 21. Sapphire Princess will bring the brand's premium cruise experience – Princess Class – to Shanghai for a four-month season during which it is expected to carry 65,000 passengers on roundtrip cruises.
Based on key research insights, the Princess Class premium cruise experience offers customized services and onboard features for Chinese guests to enhance and enrich their travel experience. Guests on the new China-based cruises will be treated to exceptional cultural, culinary and entertainment programs, including the World Leaders' Dinner, English Afternoon Tea, Ultimate Balcony Dining, the only 24-hour buffet at sea in China, Tai Chi and Zumba at sea, "Princess Night" personal touches and luxury shopping. Princess Class also includes a "Touch of Class" enrichment series designed to appeal to multi-generational groups with offerings such Social Etiquette classes and a Sommelier Wine Excursion.
Additionally, itineraries will range from three to seven days, which is the ideal range of vacation days for the Chinese market, according to research.
See further below for summaries of Costa Victoria, Costa Atlantica, Costa Serena and Sapphire Princess.
Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise company in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Ibero Cruises, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK).
Together, these brands operate 101 ships totaling 208,000 lower berths with eight new ships scheduled to be delivered between spring 2014 and fall 2016. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour company in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.
Carnival Corporation Ships Based in China
Additional Background Information
Homeport: Shanghai starting in April 2015
Size: 3,780 guests total capacity, 114,500 gross tons
Essence of ship: Inspired by Greek and Roman mythology and christened as "the Ship of Gods"; being a perfect interpretation of "Italy at the Sea" showcasing the Italian classical arts
Itineraries: Three- to five-day cruises beginning and ending in Shanghai
Dining: Five restaurants and 13 bars
Entertainment: State-of-the-art 4D cinema, Grand Prix Racing Simulator, a water slide, theatres, casino, disco, library, shopping center
Wellness: Samsara Spa, five Jacuzzis, four pools, multipurpose sports field, outdoor jogging track
Samsara Spa: 6,000 m2 on two levels, with gym, baths, thalasso therapy pool, treatment rooms, sauna, Turkish bath, UVA-raysolarium, cabins and suites
Art: 5,990 works of art onboard
Ship's Godmother: Marion Cotillard, French actress, singer and songwriter
Fun Fact: The ship's panoramic decks are named after the most famous constellations, Virgo, Taurus, Libra and many others
Additional General Information:
- Nine-story atrium lobby
- 13 decks
- Will be deployed in China all year round
Homeport: Shanghai since May 2013
Size: 2,680 guests total capacity, 85,700 gross tons
Essence of ship: Pays tribute to the art of Frederico Fellini and his "Dolce Vita"; colorful, sunny, innovative but mindful of tradition
Itineraries: Three- through six-day and 10-day cruises beginning and ending in Shanghai
Dining: Four restaurants and 12 bars
Entertainment: Theater on three levels, casino, disco, water slide, library, shopping center
Wellness: Ischia Spa, four Jacuzzis, four pools, multipurpose sports field, outdoor jogging track
Ischia Spa: Wellness center on two levels, with gym, treatment rooms, sauna and Turkish bath, UVA-ray solarium
Art: Milo Manara pays tribute to Italy's most famous film director, Federico Fellini, with drawings inspired by his greatest works displayed on the ship's 12 decks
Ship's Godmother: Claudia Cardinale, Italian actress
Ship's Asia-Specific Godmother: Diana Xu, Miss Universe China 2012
Fun Fact: Each of Atlantica's decks is named for one of Fellini's films; as examples, Deck 2 is La Dolce Vita Deck and Deck 3 is La Strada
Additional General Information:
- 660 private balconies
- 10-deck atrium
- Decorated with Carrara marble, Murano glass accents, and in-laid mosaic tile
- Replicates Venice's Caffe Florian
- First ship to be opened outwards
- Asian cuisine will be featured throughout the cruise along with more Western selections
- Casino was recently enhanced to include more gaming tables and slot machines
- Expected to be the first ship to operate an Around-the-World cruise for Chinese guests starting on March 1, 2015
Homeport: Shanghai since May 2012
Size: 2,394 guests total capacity, 75,200 gross tons
Essence of ship: Asia's first fashion cruise; unmistakable style that marries traditional nautical style with essential design
Itineraries: Two- through six-day and 10-day cruises beginning and ending in Shanghai; two- through five-day and 10-day cruises beginning and ending in Tianjin
Dining: Five restaurants and 10 bars
Entertainment: Theater on two levels, casino, disco, library, shopping center
Wellness: Wellness Center, four Jacuzzis, three pools, multipurpose sports field, outdoor jogging track
Wellness Center: Wellness Center with gym, treatment rooms, sauna and Turkish bath
Art: Lounges decorated with unique works of art, such as the Capriccio Bar's mosaic signed by Emilio Tadini
Ship's Godmother: Mary Ma, China's first international supermodel
Fun Fact: Victoria has unique on-board designer boutique concept, selling top brands at duty-free prices, featuring a large array of high-end fashion stores plus a fashion show modeling on-board wares
Additional General Information:
- 12 decks
- New balconies, terraces and windows added as part of ship update
General Costa Information
- Europe's number one cruise company
- Costa ships offer a unique, exclusive product tailored to the local clientele, which brings the region a taste of "Italy at Sea" by featuring the hospitality, design, shopping flair, fine art, and food and wine that are synonymous with Italian style
- Costa Cruises was the first Western company to market cruises in Asia, bringing cruising to the Chinese market back in 2006
- Costa also will be the first international cruise line with three ships based in China all year long
- In 2011 Costa Crociere S.p.A. established the cruise industry's first wholly owned foreign enterprise (WOFE) in China. The company is located in Shanghai, Costa's homeport city in China, and offers commercial and financial services such as marketing, ticketing and collection to local travel partners and cruise guests
Homeport: Shanghai starting May 21, 2014, through September 2014
Size: 2,670 guests total capacity, 116,000 gross tons
Essence of ship: A jewel of the seas, filled with innovative features and Chinese-tailored offerings
Itineraries: Four different itineraries ranging from three to seven days (ideal number of vacations for the Chinese market according to Princess research) calling on different locations including Seoul, Jeju, Inchon and Busan
Princess Class Features: Based on key research insights, "Princess Class" features special onboard services and offerings for Chinese guests' tastes, enhancing and enriching their travel experience. Features include World Leaders' Dinner, English afternoon tea, ultimate balcony dining, the only 24-hour buffet at sea in China, Tai Chi and Zumba at sea, "Princess Night" personal touches, luxury shopping experience and "Touch of Class" enrichment series including social etiquette classes and a Sommelier Wine Excursion
Dining: 11 restaurants and four bars
Entertainment: Theater, outdoor theater, casino, night clubs, duty free shopping center, library, children's and teen's centers, wedding chapel
Wellness: Lotus Spa, eight Jacuzzis, three pools, Sanctuary (adults-only tranquil onboard oasis) swim-against-the-current lap pool, jogging track, sports deck, golf putting course, gym and fitness center
Lotus Spa: Named "Best on a Cruise Ship" by Spafinder Wellness 365; spa treatments, beauty salon services, personal trainers, fitness classes and latest equipment
Art: World-class art collection, gallery and auctions; ship also features lectures, art exhibits and classes taught by local experts
Ship's Godmother: Nancy Murkowski, former First Lady of Alaska
Fun Fact: The ship will sail from Singapore for a four-month season in 2014-2015 in the largest deployment ever by a premium cruise line in the market
Additional General Information:
- 18 decks
- 28 premium suites with private balconies
- Over 700 balconies
- 952 feet long
- Four-month Chinese season beginning in May 2014 expected to carry 70,000 passengers
General Princess Information
- Princess awarded the "Best Cruise Line In Asia" from the Women's Choice Awards
- Largest premium cruise line in the world
- In July of last year, Carnival announced the opening of five new offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Chengdu that now represent Princess Cruises and support the brand's increased passenger sourcing in this growing region
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SOURCE Carnival Corporation
Roger Frizzell, Carnival Corporation, (305) 406-7862; Mike Flanagan, LDWWgroup, (727) 894-5866