Viking and China Merchants Shekou & Group have joined forces to expand China's cruise industry. Both brands have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture that focuses on building a cruise line with offerings for the Chinese cruise market. The partnership will cover product development, as well as sales and marketing. China Merchants Group’s shipbuilding subsidiaries will also partner to design and build new ocean cruise ships dedicated to the Chinese market.
In 2018, 38 cruise brands deployed in Asian waters, and the continent also hit a then-record high of 4.052M passengers taking an ocean cruise back in 2017.
China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Holdings Co., Ltd., is a flagship subsidiary under the China Merchants Group dedicated to urban development. They have built a tourism service ecosystem along with a tourism real estate, home port economy and cruise industry. Additionally,the enterprise also completed the layout of cruise terminals in China's coastal cities, including Shenzhen, Xiamen, Shanghai and Zhanjiang, striving to establish a Chinese cruise brand and build a globally influential cruise industry benchmark.
Viking operates a current fleet of 78 vessels, offering scenic cruising on rivers and oceans around the world. China has been a part of Viking’s destination portfolio since 2003, and since setting up local operations in China in 2016, the company has seen momentum in its European river cruise product tailored for Chinese-speaking guests.