Royal Caribbean expands deployment and investment in China

Furthering its commitment to growing the China market, Royal Caribbean International today announced that its third Quantum-class ship, Ovation of the Seas, will be based in Tianjin, China. The news was announced at a press conference in Beijing by Royal Caribbean’s President and CEO, Michael Bayley. Launching in April 2016, Ovation of the Seas will be the company’s fifth cruise ship based in the region.

“Cruising has become very popular for Chinese consumers and Royal Caribbean is already capturing their imaginations with our industry-leading cruise ships,” said Bayley. “We are furthering our commitment by bringing two of the world’s newest and most advanced Quantum-class cruise ships to the region. In addition, we are significantly expanding our investment in the training and employment of Chinese talent so they can join us in delivering our amazing and distinctive vacations to Chinese travelers.”

Currently under construction, once launched, Ovation of the Seas’ will conduct a 52-night Global Odyssey from Southampton, U.K. to Tianjin. Before this epic journey, UK holidaymakers can be among the first to experience the new ship with three itineraries from Southampton, opening for sale on Thursday March 26 2015, taking guests to some of Europe’s popular capital cities:
• A five-night round trip cruise via France and Belgium, departing April 17
• A seven-night round trip cruise calling at Spain, the Channel Islands and Paris, departing April 22
• A seven-night England to Barcelona cruise, departing May 3, 2016

“We are thrilled that Ovation of the Seas will start her Global Odyssey in Southampton meaning UK holidaymakers can be the first to experience her at sea. Quantum Class ships have incredible features onboard offering something for the whole family whether it’s trying simulated sky diving above the waves, being served a drink by robot bar tenders or simply relaxing with a good book in the adults only Solarium. They are just part of our ongoing commitment to growing the UK cruise market and encouraging people to give cruising a go” commented Stuart Leven, MD Royal Caribbean International UK. 

Following the Global Odyssey Ovation of the Seas will join Quantum of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Legend of the Seas in the China seas. The five ships will comprise the largest fleet deployment by any cruise brand in China, home-porting in four metropolitan Chinese cities – Shanghai, Tianjin, Hong Kong and Xiamen – and primarily sailing three- to 12-night itineraries to destinations in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. Royal Caribbean’s summer 2016 Asia adventures will open for booking in August 2015.  

In addition to committing ships to the region, Royal Caribbean is investing in people shoreside. The company created a curriculum with the Tianjin Maritime College in August 2014 in order to attract, train and employ more Chinese talent. In the 13,000 sq. ft. school, students are instructed in the skills needed for a successful culinary or restaurant service career with Royal Caribbean. The company has already hired more than 3,000 graduates and hopes to expand the program to accept more students and work with colleges in other Chinese cities.  

Royal Caribbean is also exploring new ways to engage the Chinese economy and help create more Chinese jobs. The company is investigating potential Chinese drydock facilities to revitalise Legend of the Seas as early as 2018; logistics centers in China to supply its ships deployed in the region; and an inbound-tourism business model to bring thousands of North American holiday makers to experience China.

Royal Caribbean is the leading and the most successful cruise line in China, shown by business growth, consumer and trade preference, and industry and consumer recognitions and awards. For its inaugural season, Ovation of the Seas will homeport in Tianjin – approximately 70 miles southeast of Beijing, while Quantum of the Seas will complete a full year of sailings from Shanghai. Mariner of the Seas will join Quantum of the Seas in Shanghai, while Voyager of the Seas will sail regularly from Hong Kong’s new Kai Tak Cruise Port. In addition to Japan and Korea itineraries, Voyager of the Seas will offer four- and five-night Taiwan and Vietnam cruises. For its part, Legend of the Seas will offer a set of sailings from Tianjin and then reposition to its new homeport of Xiamen for the remainder of the season.

Ovation of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas are among the Quantum Class, the world’s most advanced cruise ships. While Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Sea will sail the China seas, Anthem of the Seas will make Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J. its long-term home, and offer New York metropolitan holidaymakers a range of Bermuda, Caribbean, and Canada and New England adventures.  

The Quantum Class features Royal Caribbean’s unmatched innovations in onboard attractions, including the North Star aerial observatory, a glass capsule that takes guests more than 300 feet above the ocean for incomparable panoramic views, and the RipCord by iFLY skydiving and FlowRider surfing simulators. Guests will be dazzled with the ships’ transformative venues, such as the Two70 lounge, a great room by day and an immersive, multimedia entertainment spectacular at night, and SeaPlex, where guests can challenge each other at bumper cars, disco roller skating, circus school, and basketball and other sports. Guests enjoy a choice of 18 onboard restaurants, each serving a distinctive menu of fantastic food, and rollicking live entertainment in Music Hall, the Royal Theater, and Royal Esplanade.    

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 45-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea.  The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean including, jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous holidaymakers alike.

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