Tue, Oct 16, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Royal Caribbean eyeing Taiwan tourism market

NEW SHIP:‘Spectrum of the Seas’ has first-at-sea features such as a virtual reality, ‘bungee trampoline experience’ and two-level family suites with in-room slides, the firm said

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Award-winning global cruise brand Royal Caribbean International wants to attract Taiwanese passengers, one of the largest source markets in Asia with a 25 percent growth in passengers last year.

The cruise line operator disclosed its intentions for the Taiwanese market at a news conference in Keelung last week on board Ovation of the Seas, Asia’s largest Quantum-class ship.

“Taiwanese are keen cruisers and we want to whip up their appetites with the exciting experiences of Royal Caribbean,” Royal Caribbean Asia-Pacific managing director Angie Stephen said.

The number of passengers entering and leaving Keelung Port exceeded 600,000 last year, making Taiwan the second-largest source of tourists for Asian cruise ships, the US hospitality firm said, citing the Asia Cruise Trends report.

As the brand is offering newer and larger ships in Asia and other parts of the world in the coming two years, more Taiwanese will discover that cruises are being redefined by Royal Caribbean, with its ships being destinations in their own right, the company said.

Royal Caribbean was founded in Norway and is based in Miami, Florida.

With a 21.9 percent market share worldwide, the line operates 25 ships and has five additional ships on order.

All the ships under the Royal Caribbean brand have titles ending with “of the Seas.”

It is to redefine the cruise with the arrival of two new Quantum-class ships in Southeast Asia next year, which will be offering cruises from Singapore, Stephen said, adding that the newest ship, Spectrum of the Seas, would be debuting in Asia next year.

Spectrum of the Seas would be the largest ship in Asia when it sails its inaugural Southeast Asian season in May next year, the company said.

It would be the second time the cruise line is deploying a new ship to Asia, which underscores its growing confidence in the region, it said.

Spectrum of the Seas has a capacity of 5,622 guests and is 347m long, it said. It would overtake sister ships Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas, which are currently Asia’s largest, the company said.

The ship comes with first-at-sea features such as a sky pad, a virtual reality, “bungee trampoline experience” and two-level family suites with in-room slides, as well as new dining concepts, it said.

Spectrum of The Seas is to embark on a three-night cruise to Kuala Lumpur on May 18, a four-night cruise to Penang on May 21 and then a nine-night one-way cruise from Singapore to Shanghai, calling at Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang in Vietnam, and Hong Kong.

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