Voyager-class Mariner of the Seas to arrive in Asia next year

HAVING just welcomed the largest-ever ship to homeport in Asia over the weekend, Singapore can look forward to receiving another similar-sized ship in June 2013, when Royal Caribbean International’s (RCI) Mariner of the Seas debuts its Asian season.

Making its maiden call at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre on Saturday, the 3,840-pax Voyager of the Seas joins the 2,076-pax Legend of the Seas in Asia, more than doubling the cruise line’s capacity in the region. Between June and September, Voyager of the Seas will sail from Singapore to destinations such as Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Phuket and Ho Chi Minh City, before moving to Shanghai and Tianjin, from where it will offer Japan and South Korea itineraries.

At the press conference, Adam Goldstein, RCI president and CEO, announced that even more capacity would be added to Asia from next June, with the arrival of sister ship, the 3,807-pax Mariner of the Seas. It will replace Legend of the Seas.

Having recently undergone a multi-million revitalisation, Mariner of the Seas features enhanced staterooms, sports and entertainment options such as an outdoor movie screen, a rock-climbing wall and an ice skating rink, and new technologies like digital wayfinding systems.

She will kick off her Asian season in Singapore with three cruises of three to 10 nights to Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Japan and Shanghai. Goldstein explained that having two ships of equal sizes in the region would then allow one to operate out of Shanghai and the other, Tianjin, for the rest of the summer. From mid-November 2013, Mariner of the Seas will return to Singapore to offer a series of South-east Asian cruises.

Royal Caribbean Cruises managing director, China and Asia-Pacific, Zinan Liu, said this year’s guest volume and ticketing revenue out of China alone had doubled and tripled respectively, but “the market still hadn’t reached its full potential yet”.

“There’s still a need to work (on tackling) physical constraints such as port infrastructure in South-east Asia and North Asia, as well as distribution,” he said.

– Read more in TTG Asia June 1, 2012 issue

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