The saying “China rising” is taking on new meaning in the cruising industry. Princess will now join Royal Caribbean and other lines in basing a brand-new ship in the Chinese market. According to Carnival Corporation, Princess’ parent company, “…the new ship currently under construction for Princess Cruises will be based in China year-round when introduced in summer 2017. Based in Shanghai, the ship will be the first year-round international luxury vessel designed and built specifically for Chinese guests.”

“The as-yet-unnamed ship is being built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, and will carry approximately 3,600 guests on a variety of itineraries, to be announced at a later date.  Based on the design of its highly-acclaimed ships Royal Princess and Regal Princess, the new vessel will feature a number of new innovations customized for the growing number of Chinese cruise vacationers.” (Image courtesy of Princess Cruises)

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China’s burgeoning middle-class is taking to cruising in a big way, and industry executives expect China to eventually become the world’s biggest cruising market. The industry is responding with sending more ships to China. For example, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, cruising’s first “smart ship” is repositioning from the USA to China right now.

Princess’ newest ship will be based on the same design as the Regal Princess and Royal Princess, the line’s newest ships which have been well-received by guests. While offering many of the same features as her sister ships, the new ship will offer features designed specifically to appeal to Chinese guests.