Themed itineraries to ride China’s cruising wave

SHANGHAI Spring International Travel (Spring Travel) is rolling out 15 charter cruises in 2015 as the market outlook for cruising next year is decidedly upbeat.

Eleven of the 15 charter cruises will depart from Shanghai and the remaining four from Tianjin, including an ancient Rome-themed cruise on Costa Serena and Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas, which boasts robot bartenders and bumper cars on board.

It aims to increase the number of quality itineraries, such as the Princess Cruises charters, and develop more themed cruises like the little sea explorer series that has found popularity among children.

This continues Spring Travel’s operations in China this year, consisting of themed travel in partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises, Princess Cruises, and Costa Cruises. An itinerary based on wildly popular South Korean reality show, Running Man, was developed this year as was a themed cruise for singles seeking partners.

Spring Travel’s 2015 charter cruise dates will take into consideration winter and summer vacation periods and national public holidays in China.

General manager Zou Qingling noted that the industry remained optimistic about prospects for 2015.

The Asia Cruise Association predicted that the number of passengers for the Asian cruise market will hit 3.8 million in 2020 with 43 per cent coming from China.

Meanwhile the Cruise Lines International Association has forecast that international cruise passengers for 2015 and 2020 will climb to 25 million and 30 million respectively.

But for the moment, the association stated, cruise travel is capturing a mere 0.05 per cent of the Asia-Pacific’s 3.5 billion-strong market.

Article by Jessie Liu. Translated by Ong Yanchun from the original TTG-BTmice China e-Weekly, December 9, 2014 article.

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