Singapore: The launch last week of Splash, our new global news site, brought together various established Asia Shipping Media (ASM) brands into one site. What remains outside this editorial tent, however, is ASM’s dedicated cruise site, AsiaCruise News, which continues to break stories on the world’s fastest growing region for cruise.
Today we speak with Michael Thamm, the ceo of one of the world’s most famous cruise brands, Costa Cruises, and specifically discuss plans to grow the yellow funnel brand in Asia.
Just recently Costa Cruises launched an 86-day round the world voyage from Shanghai for the first time with Chinese customers in mind.
“Since Costa Cruises entered China in 2006 as the first international cruiseline to operate homeport cruises, it witnessed and supported China’s cruise industry to become the most exciting market in the world,” Thamm says, adding: “Costa Cruises is always challenging themselves to bring more innovative holiday options to this market. China’s first Around-the-World cruise is a perfect example of this and is the lynchpin of our Asia strategy over the next couple of years. It heralds a new milestone in China’s cruise industry.”
Departing from Shanghai, China’s first around-the-world cruise will take passengers across three oceans and five continents in a globe spanning 86-day cruise, by visiting 28 most appealing destinations in 18 countries and regions.
Costa is also operating cruise products from China to Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The line is also exploring new destinations in these areas, including Otaru, Kagoshima, Hakodate, Keelung, Langkawi, Manila, Thamm reveals.
Every cruise major is now targeting China. Costa does have a first move advantage and Thamm is determined to put the resources in place to make the most of this fast growing market which he thinks will be second largest cruise market in the world by 2017.
“The importance of the China market is paramount to ensuring a successful international growth strategy. We will push forward in our China plans by introducing new ships and offering innovative products and routes,” Thamm says.
Costa Serena will be joining Costa Atlantica and Costa Victoria to be deployed to China year-round next month.
To access the very latest developments across the Asian cruise scene, check out AsiaCruise News by clicking here.