China Taking Aim at Cruise Industry

first_imgzoom Costa SerenaCarnival Corporation cruise company  has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) to explore the possibility of a joint venture aimed at accelerating the development and growth of the Chinese cruise industry, with a focus on building the first-ever cruise ships constructed in China.China is expected to be one of the largest cruise markets in the world with 4.5 million passengers by 2020, according to the Chinese Ministry of Transport (MOT).The MOU outlines the framework for exploration of a partnership between Carnival Corporation and the CSSC that includes the possibility of forming a shipbuilding joint venture that could become a three-way arrangement involving Fincantieri of Italy, the world’s largest cruise ship building company, in support of the Chinese government’s plans to grow the cruising industry in China and meet escalating demand for cruises from Chinese travellers.In the past year, the Chinese Ministry of Transport has expressed its desire to transform China into a leading global cruise market, including investments in infrastructure and developing a strong domestic cruise presence to help spur growth in cruising as a key component of the expanding tourism industry in China.The MOT projects China to be the second largest global cruise market after the U.S. in the next several years based on economic growth, increased spending power of Chinese consumers and growing demand for cruise vacations in China.Carnival Corporation just recently announced its plans for immediate capacity growth in China in 2015 to meet growing demand. With Costa Cruises adding the Costa Serena to its fleet in China in April of next year, Carnival Corporation will have four ships homeported in China, growing the company’s market presence by 140 percent from 2013 – 2015. Costa Serena joins Costa Atlantica, Costa Victoria and Sapphire Princess already homeported in China.The MOU also includes the exploration of other possible joint venture opportunities with CSSC including the potential to form a domestic cruise company, port development, talent development and training as well as supply chain and logistics. Press Release, October 15, 2014; Image: Costa Cruiseslast_img read more

Japanese Whalers Return Empty-Handed

first_imgzoom Japanese whaling ships returned home from the Antarctic research mission on Saturday with no catch onboard for the first time in nearly 30 years, the AFP informs.This was the first research mission that did not involve lethal hunting of whales as harpoons were removed from the vessels.The mission involved two ships, the 724-ton Yushinmaru and the 747-ton Daini (No 2) Yushinmaru, whose crews conducted sighting surveys and took samples.This is the first mission in the wake of the ruling made by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands, that banned hunting whales off Antarctica.According to the ruling, Japan’s whaling program was not scientific in nature but more commercial, as the meat of the slaughtered whales was being sold commercially in Japan.However, the country did not completely back down from its plans as the Government of Japan said it intended to return to the Southern Ocean to hunt whales this year.The country has reduced its annual target to 333 minke whales, down from 900 set out under the previous programme.The data collected within the mission will nevertheless be used for commercial whaling, according to Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, quoted by AFP as saying on the arrival of the ships at a port in western Shimonoseki city.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more