Carnival Corporation has formally launched its cruise joint venture with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), under the name CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping, which will begin serving Chinese cruise passengers with its own fleet by end-2019.
CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping will purchase two existing ships from Carnival Corporation’s Costa Group. 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, while sister ship, the 2,114-passenger Costa Mediterranea, will be transferred at a later date.
The new China-based cruise company has also 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 gives CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping the option to order four additional China-built cruise ships to serve growing demand from Chinese consumers.
CSSC, China’s largest shipbuilder, and global 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.
Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, commented: “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.”
Lei Fanpei, chairman of CSSC, said the partnership with leading international cruise enterprises will foster the development of a whole industrial chain and 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,” Lei added.