Royal Caribbean to expand into Asia

The Rhapsody of the Seas make Asia home in 2007

ROYAL Caribbean International has announced it will return to Asia in December 2007, bringing the active cruising experience to the region.

The Vision-class ship, featuring the line’s signature rock-climbing wall and indoor glass walls providing exotic views of Asian landscapes, will offer a series of exciting cruises out of Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, visiting exotic ports of call in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.
“The introduction of Rhapsody of the Seas into Asia, together with our previously announced deployments of ships to South America and the Dominican Republic are all part of the company’s strategy of international business development and expansion into emerging and high-growth markets,” said Adam Goldstein, president of Royal Caribbean International.
Rhapsody of the Seas will debut December 10, 2007, in Singapore offering a series of sailings that will call on Malaysia and Thailand. The Asia tour continues on from Hong Kong, where she will arrive in time for the Chinese New Year holiday season, offering a series of itineraries calling at ports in Taiwan, Japan, and Sanya, Hainan Island. Then moving to Shanghai, China, Rhapsody will call on ports in Japan and Korea. Additional details of Rhapsody’s itineraries will be available by mid- October 2006.
“We are confident that the Asian market and the Pan Asia regions, in general, have tremendous growth potential, and view this as a first step in a long-term plan that will define cruising in the region. There has been an increased level of awareness and interest in travel to Asia from India, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East which we predict will become strong secondary source markets,” said Goldstein.
Rhapsody of the Seas, at 78,491 tons and with a total guest capacity of 2,435, will be one of the largest cruise ships to homeport in Asia. In addition to the rock-climbing wall, she features the awe-inspiring Centrum, an open atrium with a shopping arcade; an outdoor pool; six whirlpools; an indoor/outdoor pool in a Solarium with a retractable roof; themed bars and lounges; the Adventure Ocean Youth programme; the Shipshape Day Spa and Fitness Center; the Casino Royale; multi-level dining rooms with floor to ceiling windows; and Windjammer Cafe. The ship also has one main conference center with four smaller meeting rooms.