Ovation of the Seas, a featured cruise ship of Royal Caribbean International, will begin operating out of Tianjin, China in April 2016. Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean, stated that the 4000-passenger cruise ship is the fifth vessel in Royal Caribbean’s line to be based in the area. It is currently under construction.
The other four vessels that will set sail in China in 2016 include the Quantum of the Seas, the Mariner of the Seas (both based in Shanghai), and Voyager of the Seas, (home-ported in Hong Kong) and the Legend of the Seas. The Legend of the Seas will disembark from Tianjin in 2016 and be repositioned to Xiamen when the Ovation of the Seas arrives.
Bayley added that cruising is becoming increasingly more popular among the Chinese people. Therefore, his line is ready to provide the region with Royal Caribbean’s latest Quantum-class, industry-leading vessels.
He said that the company is investing in Chinese talent to work on the cruise ships as well. The Tianjin Maritime College designed a curriculum to educate students in culinary skills and a restaurant service career in the cruise industry. Royal Caribbean has already employed over 3,000 graduates from the college.
Once it is launched in 2016, maiden sailings of the new Ovation of the Seas vessel will include a Global Odyssey cruise that will last 52 nights, sailing from Southampton in the UK to Tianjin, China. The cruise line reports that shorter cruises will be offered during the long voyage. Eventually, ships will offer sailing itineraries of three to twelve nights to ports of call in the Asian countries of Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Vietnam.
Not only is the introduction of the Ovation of the Seas ship and other Chinese sailing vessels helpful to tourism, the event also signals more work for people engaged in the fields of ship building, culinary arts and off-shore hospitality.
The Royal Caribbean International is acting as a trailblazer among cruise companies in providing cruise offerings in the Chinese marketplace. It is currently reviewing a business model that would bring thousands of North American visitors to China’s shores after the cruise ships begin operating in 2016.
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