SHANGHAI, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping, a joint venture between China's largest shipbuilding company China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and the U.S.-based Carnival Corporation, on Monday welcomed its newest fleet member.
The 85,861-tonnage and 2,210-passenger vessel, Costa Atlantica, was inked to be transferred from Carnival Corporation's Costa Cruises to CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping as a result of the strategic partnership between CSSC and Carnival established during the first China International Import Expo held in Shanghai in 2018.
According to the plan, the 2,114-passenger Costa Mediterranea will also join the fleet by the end of this year, followed by six Vista vessels that will enter service starting from 2023.
"The efforts are further testament to the confidence bolstered by Carnival and CSSC, and their shared vision and commitment to growing together with the domestic cruise market," said CSSC-Carnival in a press release.
The global cruise industry is estimated to have seen the operation of 433 vessels carrying 28.5 million passengers in 2018. As the world's second-largest cruise market by passenger volume, Chinese travelers took 2.4 million cruise trips that same year.
"We will leverage the strong capabilities and rich resources of our parent companies to build a full-fledged flagship cruise company," said Roger Chen, managing director of CSSC-Carnival.
"The venture should help drive the sustained development of China's cruise industry and become a leading China-funded cruise company by optimizing its product offerings, improving its distribution systems and setting up an all-inclusive ecosystem," said Yang Guobing, chairman of CSSC-Carnival.