Carnival cruise group expanding in Asia

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The Carnival Freedom is seen February 18, 2013 in port in Key West, Florida. AFP/ Karen BLEIER

SINGAPORE — Carnival, the world’s largest cruise group, unveiled its Asian expansion plans on Tuesday, predicting the regional market for leisure voyages will grow dramatically within the decade.

Southeast Asia in particular will be a key focus, the company said as it announced that one of its brands, Princess Cruises, will operate from Singapore by next year to provide short-haul leisure trips.

“Carnival is really investing a lot in Asia, we are trying to stimulate the demand of the market. Today it’s a bit quiet as cruising is not well known,” Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and chief executive of Carnival Asia, told Agence France-Presse.

“Southeast Asia is a key market to develop cruising because it is a year-round experience. The seas are typically calm and the surroundings are beautiful, particularly for short-haul cruises.”

Carnival’s brands include Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Ibero Cruises, P&O Cruises in Australia, and P&O Cruises in Britain.

Foschi, speaking on the sidelines of a press conference, cited industry forecasts that cruise liners will see a total of seven million passengers a year by 2020 in Asia, up from just above one million now.

The Sapphire Princess will be deployed to Singapore from November 2014 to February 2015.

The luxury liner, which can carry 2,670 passengers, will bring travellers from Singapore to cities and exotic destinations in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Carnival already has a presence in China through its Costa Cruises brand, while Princess Cruises is setting up shop in Japan this month.

“As cruise lines are being deployed into the market, the market starts to develop. Slowly at first, but then they reach a critical mass,” Alan Buckelew, chief executive and president of Princess Cruises.

“Our ships move to where we believe the demand is strongest.”

Singapore, a regional aviation hub, has also taken steps to gain a bigger slice of the growing cruise travel market.

In October, it opened a new cruise terminal capable of berthing the world’s biggest luxury liners.

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  • Cue_Vas

    still they won’t be visiting philippines.
    because of corrupt customs and inept police.

  • kismaytami

    Just don’t get near Tubbataha reef with an Italian captain.

  • i_am_filipino

    Philippine should modernize, expand, create more sea ports.

  • CmdrAdobo

    They will go to Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam but not Philippines. That’s how lousy our country is.

    • Platypus09

      Maybe your comments should concentrate on how we can improve, not just pointing out issues or its ugliness. That way, maybe we can learn from you.

      • CmdrAdobo

        pointing out issues is the first step because it seems most of us dont know.

      • dodong1

        we know how lousy our accessibility on our tourist areas, lot of the government officials ignores it…that is why we again miss such opportunity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/yet.jua Yet Jua

    though most of the crews for sure are from the Philippines,it seems that they don’t recognize our country as a tourist destination….maybe because of our filthy and dirty rivers and slums beside it,unstable economy,corrupt politicians, police and government personnel ,high crime rate,pollution,traffic …etc.

    • Platypus09

      I am glad that you acknowledge your own issues and inadequacies being a Filipino yourself.

      • http://www.facebook.com/yet.jua Yet Jua

        I should because that’s the truth…and talking about myself i’m proud to tell you that i’m a reformed Filipino.How about you?If you’re not a Filipino okay i concede.But if you’re somewhat a Filipino yourself,don’t you acknowledge those issues and inadequacies?

    • http://www.facebook.com/billy.reyes.984 Billy Reyes

      the crew does not count as criteria for cruise stop over.

  • EmmanuelGomez

    Carnival already has a presence in China through its Costa Cruises
    brand, while Princess Cruises is setting up shop in Japan this month.

    – Philippines.. not exotic enough??

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