Los Angeles (April 9, 2019) – On April 8, Viking® (www.vikingcruises.com) and China Merchants Shekou, representing China Merchants Group, announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture focused on building a cruise line with worldwide cruise offerings for the Chinese cruise market.
This will be a wide-ranging partnership covering from product development to sales and marketing. Further, China Merchants Group’s shipbuilding subsidiaries will partner with the joint venture to design and build new ocean cruise ships dedicated to the Chinese market.
“China is a dynamic outbound tourism market, and we are pleased to be partnering with China Merchants Group in this joint venture to drive the development of the cruise industry – we see Viking’s way of cruising less as a trip and more as a lifestyle,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “For more than 20 years, we have led the industry in developing a fleet of ships and a range of cruise itineraries that we believe provide guests with the most comfortable and enriching way to explore the world. Our partnership with China Merchants Group will allow us to bring this Viking travel lifestyle to more Chinese travelers more quickly, satisfying the Chinese market’s unmet demand for a greater choice of sophisticated travel.”
“China Merchants Group treasures this cooperation with Viking. This is a full scale, multi-dimensional cooperation that covers all three main business sectors of China Merchants group,” said Gangfeng Fu, president of China Merchants Group. “Viking has gained tremendous experience in cruise operations and branding strategies during its 20 years of rapid growth. We sincerely hope that the alliance of the two powerful brands will create synergies and innovative business models that will lead the cooperation into a market-leading cruise brand.
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 strong momentum in its European river cruise product tailored for Chinese-speaking guests.
About Viking Cruises
Viking was founded in 1997 with the purchase of four ships in Russia. Designed for discerning travelers with interests in science, history, culture and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. In its first three years of operation, Viking has been rated the #1 ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure’s 2016, 2017 and 2018 “World’s Best” Awards. Viking currently operates a fleet of 78 vessels, offering scenic cruising on rivers and oceans around the world. In addition to the Travel + Leisure honors, Viking has also been honored multiple times on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” as well as recognized by Cruise Critic as “Best Overall” Small-Mid size ship in the 2018 Cruisers’ Choice Awards, “Best River Cruise Line” and “Best River Itineraries,” with the entire Viking Longships® fleet being named “Best New River Ships” in the website’s Editors’ Picks Awards. For additional information, contact Viking at 1-855-8-VIKING (1-855-884-5464) or visit www.vikingcruises.com.
About China Merchants Shekou and Group
China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Holdings Co., Ltd. (CMSK, stock code:001979), a flagship subsidiary under the China Merchants Group, a leading state-owned enterprise under the direct supervision of the central government, is dedicated to comprehensive urban development. It is also the Group’s only asset integration platform for real estate and important business collaboration platform in China. CMSK promotes the national network layout of cruise port and the duplication of its business model to realize the interrelated management of “Cruise, Port, City, Tourism, Shopping and Entertainment” and build a high-end tourism service ecosystem integrating tourism real estate, home port economy and cruise industry. CMSK has initially 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.