THE world’s major cruise lines are looking to Asia for growth with ports in the region now rating highly on new cruise itineraries.
At the same time Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai (China) have all upgraded their cruise passenger terminals as they vie to become the region’s major cruise hub.
australiancruisingnews.com believes Shanghai has gained the upper hand with Royal Caribbean International deciding to base its newest mega-ship, Quantum of the Seas there from May next year, mainly for sailings to Japan and Korea.
Two other Royal Caribbean ships – Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas, each carrying 3114 passengers – already spend part of the year in Shanghai, as does Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess (2670-passengers), princess.com
While Royal Caribbean expects many of the passengers sailing on Quantum of the Seas out of Shanghai will be from China, the cruises will also appeal to global travellers who are looking to explore Asia by ship.
Currently under construction at a shipyard in Germany, Quantum of the Seas is scheduled to debut in November this year for an inaugural season sailing out of New York to the Caribbean. She will carry 4180-passengers, and boast innovative new features such as the first skydiving simulator at sea and a glass capsule on a mechanical arm that will soar high above the ship for bird’s-eye views.
Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas, each carries 5400-passengers, are the world’s largest cruise ships, and while not as large as these ships, Quantum of the Seas will rank among the world’s 10 largest cruise ships.
Departing New York on May 2 next year Quantum of the Seas will sail on a 53-night voyage to her permanent home in Shanghai via the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean, royalcaribbean.com.au