Royal Caribbean International is to raise capacity from China by 66% with the deployment of its newest ship Quantum of the Seas in Asia next summer.
The new-generation vessel will join Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas in Asia in May 2015 following its maiden winter season sailing from New York to the Caribbean.
The 4,180-passenger ship will sail three to eight-night itineraries year-round from Shanghai (Baoshan) to Japan and Korea.
Liberty of the Seas will then arrive in Cape Liberty to sail to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Canada and New England for summer and autumn next year.
The Freedom-class ship will be the company’s largest to run cruises to Bermuda from the New York area.
Quantum of the Seas’ sister ship, Anthem of the Seas, which is launched in April 2015, will complete its inaugural Europe season from Southampton before arriving to Cape Liberty to cruise to the Bahamas and Caribbean in winter 2015-16.
Royal Caribbean Cruises president and chief operating office Adam Goldstein said: “Consumers in China have grown to expect the best the world has to offer, and Quantum of the Seas meets that standard like no other ship.
“We are ready to accelerate the growth of this vital market with a ship that will capture the imagination of travellers looking for a one-of-a-kind vacation experience.”
He added: “Every trend we are seeing in China tells us we can achieve real long-term competitive advantage and appealing returns on our investments in this fast-growing market by accelerating our presence there.
“We will have to be nimble, but the ability to move fast is one of our strengths.”
Goldstein said the company was able to make the move because its new-ship pipeline will keep the New York region supplied with top-rated ships as well.
“We are very mindful of the importance of New York, which is why we are bringing Liberty of the Seas and then Anthem of the Seas to this market,” he said.
Royal Caribbean International vice president international Dominic Paul said: “These incredible ships will meet the sophisticated expectations of consumers in Shanghai, New York and London [Southampton].
“Our mantra for the new Quantum class of ships is ‘this changes everything’ – and upping our game in these key markets achieves just that.
“Our distinctive style of high quality innovative cruises has become known to travellers around the world and we will continue to deploy our most technologically advanced ships where the demand is, with the expectation of winning new converts to cruising.”
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