Quantum is Shanghaied: Why Royal want to get you on a new boat to China

/, Cruise News/Quantum is Shanghaied: Why Royal want to get you on a new boat to China

Everything changes: a new cruise ship which boasts dodgem cars, a sky-diving simulator and an observation pod inspired by the London Eye is to be based in … China.
Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, nearing completion in a German shipyard, launches this autumn. After a brief visit to Southampton it will spend the winter sailing from New York.
In May 2015 the 4,180-passenger vessel will relocate to Shanghai from where it will operate year-round, sailing three to eight-night cruises to Japan and Korea. The company already has Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas, each carrying more than 3,000 passengers, sailing in Asia.
The move demonstrates Royal’s frequently-stated view that it will put its ships wherever they are expected to make the most money.
Dominic Paul, UK-based vice-president of Royal Caribbean International, said “Our mantra for the new Quantum class of ships is ‘this changes everything’ – and upping our game in these key markets achieves just that.
“We will deploy our most technologically advanced ships where the demand is, with the expectation of winning new converts to cruising.”
American cruise passengers must be wondering what they have to do to get one of these new vessels to their home ports; sister ship Anthem of the Seas, launching next spring, will sail in Europe from Southampton, and the company’s biggest ship, Allure of the Seas, is to be relocated from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean.
Maybe they’ll get the third ship Oasis-class ship, the same size as Allure, which is being built in France. Keel-laying for the as-yet-unnamed vessel, still referred to as Oasis 3, will take place at St Nazaire on May 9.
With an eye to investors rather than passengers, Royal Caribbean’s Adam Goldstein said “Consumers in China have grown to expect the best the world has to offer, and Quantum meets that standard like no other ship.
“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.”
I wonder if Jamie Oliver expected his customers to be more used to chopsticks than knives and forks when he signed up to put his Jamie’s Italian restaurant on to Quantum of the Seas.
Also looking East are Princess Cruises. Their 2,670-passenger ship Diamond Princess, built in 2004 by Mitsubishi in Nagasaki, has emerged from a multi-million pound makeover designed to make it more appealing to the Japanese market.
The refurbishments have created the largest Japanese bath house at sea, an 8,800 square-foot spa with a range of indoor and outdoor pampering facilities including a hydrotherapy pool and a gentle mist sauna, all intended to create the atmosphere of a Japanese onsen hot spring resort.
Also new are a sushi restaurant and boutiques selling brands such as Burberry, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Ralph Lauren.
The two-week renovation, completed at Sembawang shipyard in Singapore, was carried out prior to Diamond Princess setting sail for Japan. From April 17 the ship will be based in Tokyo for a variety of nine-day cruises, including visits to destinations such as Taiwan, South Korea, Russia and 15 Japanese ports.
Princess Cruises UK and Europe managing director, Paul Ludlow, returned from Japan this week. He said “Having viewed these refurbishments for myself I’m pleased to say that Diamond Princess is a truly stunning ship. It offers an authentic Far East experience, complete with unparalleled sea views, which will really appeal to UK passengers looking to immerse themselves in the culture.
“We’ve seen our sharpest bookings growth in Japan this year, with an increasing number of passengers telling us they are looking to travel to more far-flung, exotic cruise destinations. The changes on Diamond Princess will unquestionably enhance this experience.”

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:27+00:00 18 April 2014|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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