COSTA Cruises says it will become the first international cruise operator with three ships in the region when it homeports flagship vessel Costa Serena in Shanghai from April next year.
Buhdy Bok, senior vice president, Pacific Asia and China, said the ship will join Costa Victoria based in Singapore and Costa Atlantica based in Shanghai to "increase our capacity in Asia by 74 per cent and make Costa Cruises the first international cruise company to deploy three ships in the region."
All three ships will be deployed in China for the spring and summer seasons, where cruises are increasingly popular among the middle class.
Costa Serena will sail from Shanghai to various destinations in Asia including Fukuoka, Jeju, Busan and Incheon.
Bok explained: "We expect significant growth in the cruise market to continue in the foreseeable future due to a tremendous growing demand in Asia, and in particular, China.”
"According to Asian Cruise Association, its 2013 report showed that demand in Asia will nearly triple to 3.8 million annual cruisers in 2020, with 1.6 million from China."