Viking Sets Sail in Joint Venture with China Merchants
Viking has a new joint venture with China Merchants Shekou to offer 8-day China Coastal Cultural Cruises from Shenzhen Shekou Port and the first cruise left over the weekend. Viking first entered the Chinese cruise market around five years ago and since then, have established a reputation for offering top quality cruises with a cultural focus, and for offering well above-average service that makes guests feel appreciated.
The first cruise was the maiden voyage of CM-Yidun, a Chinese-flagged vessel which features Nordic-style interiors, a library, a series of lectures, a spa with traditional Scandinavian bath rituals, shore excursions featuring several Privileged Access experiences, and original Viking dining concepts like the Mamsen’s Norwegian deli, Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant, and destination-focused menus.
“It is very exciting that we are able to launch a brand-new product and the first of its kind in China. We have always been about exploring the world in comfort, and now we offer our Chinese guests an opportunity to rediscover their own backyard in a new way – culturally enriching, in elegant comfort and with a unique touch of Nordic hospitality,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “We believe cruising is a boom industry in China, and that Chinese consumers’ demand for cruise travel will continue to grow and become more sophisticated. Our joint-venture partnership with the China Merchants Group will enable us to take advantage of this trend.”
Gaining appreciation for new cultures and customs is at the forefront of the new itineraries.
“The experience that we set out to create is one built on what has made Viking a success around the world and popular with our Chinese guests. We then added locally relevant elements to complement it,” said Wee-Hoon Tan, Vice President of Product Development & Marketing. “We have however kept the Nordic Shop, which aims to let Chinese guests get acquainted with both established and niche quality brands reflecting Nordic heritage and culture. Over in our jewelry shop, we are proud to be hosting world-renowned Gübelin from Switzerland and presenting its first-ever retail outlet in China. We are also pleased to have Chow Tai Fook—a household brand in China, which is showcasing on our ship many of its jewelry collections not readily available onshore.”
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