Carnival Cruise Line, the largest brand under Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), has announced an initial commitment of two ships to the China market beginning with Carnival Miracle in spring 2017 followed by Carnival Splendor in spring 2018. Both ships will be based in China year round.
Carnival Miracle and Carnival Splendor will offer the memorable, high quality vacation experience Carnival is known for featuring exceptional service and hospitality in a fun and friendly atmosphere. “Carnival is the world’s most popular cruise line and our style of cruising appeals to guests of all ages and particularly families,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We attract more than 4.5 million guests a year and, as the family cruise leader, we also carry more than 700,000 children each year. Multi-generational families also choose to vacation with Carnival more than any other cruise brand. We look forward to bringing our one-of-a-kind, exceptionally popular cruise experience to the Chinese market.”
Duffy also noted that Carnival’s highly differentiated cruise experience offers a very interactive and participatory style of vacation that brings together the guests and well-trained and motivated onboard team members. “The team brings this experience to life for our guests on every cruise with a high level of respect, service and hospitality. We know this will resonate very well with our Chinese guests and allow us to exceed their expectations,” Duffy stated.
Carnival is the worldwide leader in providing cruises of three to five days and this extensive experience in shorter duration cruises will be invaluable in providing Chinese guests with a truly memorable vacation experience. Specific details on the company’s China itineraries will be announced at a later time.
Carnival Miracle is a notably spacious ship given its size and more limited guest capacity (2,124 guests) and has a guest to crew ratio of nearly two to one. This allows the ship to uniquely offer outstanding guest service in a very spacious and comfortable environment. The ship offers a variety of popular features including more than 60 percent of accommodations featuring a private balcony.
There are also four swimming pools with a magrodome over the main pool area which provides excellent views and an expansive outdoor area to enjoy a wide variety of activities and entertainment in all weather conditions. Carnival Miracle’s two promenade decks offer multiple types of locations for gathering with friends and family, playing games or enjoying a host of other exciting activities and entertainment options.
Extensive enhancements were added earlier this year with the addition of the Red Frog Pub which features a uniquely Caribbean atmosphere with music and entertainment options from this popular tropical region. The Alchemy Bar was added as well, and skilled bartenders create custom drinks with unique fresh ingredients based on guests’ individual tastes and preferences.
Carnival Miracle offers multiple dedicated facilities for children, including an expansive water park. The highly trained staff ensure that the younger cruisers are well cared for and entertained with fun activities throughout the cruise. For the adults, Serenity is a private and comfortable outdoor area restricted to guests age 18 and older. The ship also features an outstanding steak house, offering exceptional cuts of dry aged beef and top quality seafood, along with spectacular views. Several areas of the ship, including the casino, shopping and dining offerings will be enhanced prior to the start of China service to cater to Asian tastes.
Carnival Splendor, which enters the China market in 2018, is a larger vessel which carries just over 3,000 passengers and boasts a wide variety of features including an array of outstanding dining, entertainment and other guest-pleasing options. That ship also has four swimming pools, one of which can be covered by a glass magrodome, seven whirlpools, a Serenity area and a variety of dedicated facilities for children in different age groups.
Carnival will be establishing operations in China in partnership with sister company Costa Asia, which has operated in the Chinese market for the past nine years. “Given the combined experience of Costa Asia, along with other sister companies either already in the market, such as Princess Cruises, or entering the market, such as AIDA, the collective scale of Carnival Corporation’s Asia operations is unparalleled and enables us to tap into an immense network of resources and expertise as we launch our China program,” said Duffy.
Reservations for voyages on Carnival Miracle are expected to open in 2016.