Carnival Corporation today announced that its cruise joint venture with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) will launch this week 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.
CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited announced an agreement to purchase two existing ships from Carnival Corporation’s Costa Group.
The first of these ships, the 85,861-ton, 2,210-passenger Costa Atlantica, is scheduled to be transferred to the new Chinese cruise line by the end of 2019.
The Costa Atlantica’s sister ship, the 2,114-passenger Costa Mediterranea, will be transferred at a date still to be announced.
Additionally, CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited announced it has signed a contract to finalize its previously announced agreement to order two new cruise ships that will be built in China and serve the Chinese cruise market, according to a press release.
The two new cruise ships will be constructed by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (SWS), a Chinese-owned shipyard in Shanghai, with the first ship expected to be delivered in 2023. The agreement also gives CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited the option to order four additional China-built cruise ships to serve growing demand from Chinese consumers.
CSSC, China’s largest shipbuilder, and leading global shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A. 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 travelers, according to a press release.
“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, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “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 travelers."
“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, CEO of Fincantieri, said: “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."