Viking and China Merchants Shekou, representing China Merchants Group, 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.
It will be a wide-ranging partnership including product development 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.
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.
State-owned China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Holdings is dedicated to urban development and promotes the development of cruise ports in China. It has a “cruise, port, city, tourism, shopping and entertainment” business model that it has used to design cruise terminals in China’s coastal cities, including Shenzhen, Xiamen, Shanghai and Zhanjiang.