Further demonstrating the importance of the Chinese cruise market to the line’s future and the wider industry – Royal Caribbean have announced the third ship in the Quantum Class will be homeported in Tianjin. The northern Chinese city will play host to the Ovation of the Seas after the ship launches in 2016.
The ship will join the eldest member of the Quantum Class in the region as the Quantum of the Seas relocates to Shanghai in May 2015. Three other ships from the Royal Caribbean fleet are currently sailing year-round out of ports in the region – Mariner of the Seas (Tianjin), Voyager of the Seas (Hong Kong) and Legend of the Seas (Xiamen).
The maiden voyage of the Ovation of the Seas will be a round-the-world repositioning cruise from Southampton to Tianjin. The 56-night Global Odyssey is split into five sections, allowing passengers to select which part of the cruise to enjoy.
Royal Caribbean president and CEO, Michael Bayley, explained the line’s increasing dedication to the Chinese cruise market: “Cruising has become very popular for Chinese consumers.” Keen not to alienate the US market, Bayley continued: “While China gets the newest Quantum Class, North America is getting the newest Oasis Class, Harmony of the Seas.”
Set to follow the same design as the Quantum of the Seas and the Anthem of the Seas, the new ship will feature a skydiving simulator, a 300ft high observation pod and virtual balconies. The ship is currently in construction in the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany – the same company responsible for the other two members of the Quantum Class.
Images via Royal Caribbean Press Center and By kele_jb1984 (Flickr: 11) via Wikimedia Commons