By aspiring to set a high new standard for cruise travel, Royal Caribbean International, the world’s largest cruise line enjoyed great success by deploying their iconic Voyager of the Seas in Hong Kong last year.
In response to the overwhelming market excitement, the company now plans to go one step further by also basing their newest cruise ship ──Ovation of the Seas in Hong Kong in November this year. This will be the first time that Royal Caribbean will have two ships deployed in Hong Kong.
Voyager of the Seas’ homeport season business in Hong Kong in 2015 was absolutely outstanding, with over 55,000 travellers signing up for 17 cruises. In the summer, the visit of Quantum of the Seas, the newest and technologically advanced ship of the Royal Caribbean, became the talk of the town.
Dr. Zinan Liu, President, North APAC & China of Royal Caribbean International said, “We are so confident in the Hong Kong cruise market we decided to extend the homeport season of Voyager of the Seas from three months to over four months, and in addition bring our newest ship,Ovation of the Seas, here by the end of this year. Having two ships here will enable us to increase our programme in Hong Kong from 20 to 30 sailings . This means we could be welcoming over 100,000 vacationers this year which is about a 65% increase compared to last year.”
The Largest Cruise Ship in Asia ever to be based in Hong Kong
Ovation of the Seas is the third addition to the Quantum class ships, and is a sister ship to Quantum of the Seas that visited Hong Kong last year. Built by Meyer Werft in Germany at a cost of USD 1 billion, the 168,666 tons vessel has 2,090 staterooms for up to 4,180 guests and will be the largest cruise liner ever to be based in Hong Kong.
Ovation of the Seas will depart from Southampton, England on her 53-day “Global Odyssey” cruise to Tianjin, China on 3rd of May. She will then have a season in Tianjin in June before coming to Hong Kong in November.
Appealing to China market, with national treasures
Ovation of the Seas has been hailed as “The cruise from the future”. She features unprecedented Quantum Class amenities, including the North StarSM capsule which soars above the ship to deliver incomparable 360º ocean views, a thrilling skydiving experience with RipCord by iFLY® and onboard bumper cars.
In addition, Ovation of the Seas offers three specifically Chinese attractions to help their Chinese guests feel at home. Fan Bingbing, the internationally-acclaimed Chinese actress has become the newly-appointed Godmother to Ovation of the Seas’, and in a unique collaboration with China’s Forbidden City Imperial Palace Museum, the ship will offer displays of historical relics from the Forbidden City and feature invited experts to hold talks about the Imperial Palace in Beijing. There is also a giant 33-foot “Mama and Baby” art installation, depicting a mother panda and her cub, reaching out to one another as a symbol of good luck. Pandas are considered national treasures in China.
Xin Dau Ji – Authentic Cantonese delicacies on board
In addition to the arrival of Ovation of the Seas in Hong Kong, Voyager of the Seas is striving to raise the bar even higher in terms of excellence to meet the demands of local guests. Hong Kong vacationers crave sumptuous dining experiences and fast Internet speeds. So now Voyager of the Seas will offer both.
For the first-time-ever, Royal Caribbean is partnering on board with the award-winning Cantonese culinary experts, Xin Dau Ji, to provide over 20 exquisite signature dishes, including fried scallops, fish fillets with corn, steamed chicken in Lotus leaves, pan-fried fresh shrimp and more.
Balwin Yeung, Director of Sales & Marketing of Royal Caribbean Cruises Hong Kong Ltd. said, “Hong Kong vacationers expect the very best at this level of cruising which is why we have invited Xin Dau Ji to answer their culinary desires, especially their craving for truly authentic Chinese cuisine. Both Royal Caribbean and Xin Dau Ji are noted for their innovative approaches and share the same target group of customers in middle-class families. With these values in common and a similar customer base we should be perfect partners, in achieving a win-win collaboration.”
To ensure guests can enjoy the perfect meal with their friends, Voyager of the Seas has also introduced the all-new “E-sea dining” seat arrangement for on board restaurants. Guests can get seats with companions when they come to the restaurant instead of only getting a designated table. The main menu has also been upgraded to Quantum Class, and redesigned to a picture-oriented menu for more appealing reading.
Introducing VOOM, The fastest Internet at Sea
From 1 May, 2016, all Royal Caribbean cruise liners including Voyager of the Seas® and Ovation of the Seas® will be equipped with the fastest Internet network at sea, so guests can share their cruising experience instantly with their friends and family on shore. The new VOOM internet system is around 7 times faster than the industry average with a latency of less than 150 milliseconds. Guests will be able to pay a package price per day, per device starting from just HK$60 (US$7.5) – another first in the industry – for an exceptional internet experience.
A Taste of Heaven with C AllStar
Royal Caribbean, is always striving to offer exciting new experiences for cruise lovers. And now they’re launching another first: a taste of cruising trip for potential customers who are new to cruise vacations.
On 1st July the Voyager of the Seas® will offer travellers an opportunity to enjoy the cruising experience at a taster level. The sampler cruise will not travel to an actual destination. Instead, travellers can simply enjoy the on-board experience in a luxurious 2-night trip at an entry price starting from just HK$1,159 (excluding tax).
In another breakthrough, Royal Caribbean has announced its collaboration with the popular young boy band, C AllStar to entertain travellers on board. It will be the first theme-cruise of Royal Caribbean’s new Hong Kong homeport season. The positive image and the energetic charisma ofC AllStar matches perfectly with the vitality of Royal Caribbean’s brand image. The inspiring story of the young band represents the spirit of diligence and perseverance of Hong Kongers, which also symbolises Royal Caribbean International’s determination to stay in Hong Kong and their vision to “Cruise Extraordinary”.