On November 25, 2023, the 16th China Cruise Shipping Conference & International Cruise Expo (CCS16) opened in Nanshan, Shenzhen. Over 400 guests from the cruise industry, hailing from more than ten countries and regions including the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain, attended the conference.
Torstein Hagen, founder and chairman of Viking Cruises and one of the representative figures in the cruise industry, expressed his confidence and expectations for the future of China’s cruise market at the conference.
In his speech, Hagen pointed out that various studies have shown that the Chinese cruise market has tremendous growth potential and its influence in the global cruise industry is increasingly prominent. “Looking forward, we have strong confidence in the Chinese market, and I believe now is the crucial time to increase investment and develop the Chinese market,” he said.
With the positive trend of China’s economy and the increasing diversification of Chinese consumers’ demands, the future scale of China’s cruise market is expected to surpass that of the United States. According to market research by McKinsey, by 2035, the Chinese cruise market is expected to reach 23.5 million passengers. In comparison, the size of the U.S. cruise market this year is about 14 million passengers.
As early as 2016, Viking Cruises pioneered customized European river cruise products for Chinese guests. Following that, Viking Cruises jointly established China Merchants Viking Cruises with China Merchants Group. Adhering to the concept of “destination experience as the core,” they created a coastal cultural and tourism journey with the first ocean cruise ship registered in China, the “China Merchants Eden.” According to research, over 98% of Viking guests stated that their experiences on both ocean and river cruises exceeded their expectations.
In the future, Viking Cruises will continue to increase its focus on the Chinese market. Torstein Hagen revealed, “In 2024, Viking Cruises will deploy four river cruise ships for the Chinese market. It is expected that by 2028, the river cruise fleet serving the Chinese market will expand to 12 ships.” Viking Cruises also plans to restart the operation of its tourism products to China next year.
Currently, Viking Cruises’ new European river cruise routes for 2024 are fully available for booking. These include the classic “11-day Rhine River Enchantment” and the popular “11-day Danube River Splendor,” as well as the new limited “11-day Eastern Europe Discovery” and “15-day Europe’s Ancient and Modern Wonders.”
China Merchants Viking Cruises’ “8-day Dazzling South China Sea Journey” has set sail this winter, departing from and returning to Shenzhen, exploring Vietnam’s Da Nang and Halong Bay, as well as Hong Kong, China. Additionally, the “15-day Enchanting Japan and Korea Journey” is already on sale, offering a visa-free, in-depth exploration of 9 ports in Japan and Korea starting in March 2024.
｜Source: Official Press Release
｜Image Credit: Provided by Brand