Asia's largest cruise ship docks in Shanghai
The Voyager of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean International, docks at Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal on June 19. (Courtesy of chinadaily.com.cn)
Asia's largest cruise ship arrived on June 19 at Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal for the first time to launch its summer cruise itineraries in China.
The ship, the Voyager of the Seas, is operated by Royal Caribbean International.
"China's cruise market is young and vibrant. Royal Caribbean International is optimistic about the development of the cruise industry here and will continue the investment in this market," said Lisa Bauer, RCI's senior vice-president of global sales and marketing.
Bauer said that RCI's business has been growing significantly since it entered the Chinese market in 2008. The company plans to introduce the Mariner of the Seas - a sister ship of the Voyager of the Seas - to Shanghai next year to meet surging demand.
The Voyager of the Seas will mainly make trips to Japan and South Korea. Tickets for the maiden voyage on June 19 were sold out months in advance.
Shanghai plans to become a competitive center for international cruises. By 2015, the Baoshan International Cruiser Homeport will be completed, and more than 200 ships are expected to dock annually after that, said Wang Hong, head of Shanghai's Baoshan district.