Quantum class ships to Asia to cater to growing middle class

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The arrival of Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas in Asia next month, and the promise of sister-ship Ovation of the Seas in 2016, has been sparked by a significant change in the demographic of ASEAN cruising.

“In 2015, guest profiling has changed compared to last year. With a premium product like Quantum of the Seas entering Asia with higher rates, higher income guests are now playing a more important role in customer sourcing,” RCCL’s Chin Ying Duan, Corporate Communications Manager, Singapore & SE Asia, told ASEAN Cruise News.

The two new ships – the most technologically advanced anywhere in the world – represent an enormous investment in growing cruise in China and Southeast Asia.
The world’s shipping lines are watching to see how cabins sell.

Royal Caribbean are gambling on the rise of Asia’s rising middle-class and the growth of wealthy individuals. “This class of ship will be the largest in Asia at over 168,000 GRT. These are new large revolutionary ships deployed to the region to meet the growing demands of the increasingly affluent Asian travellers looking for novel vacation options,” Ms Chin said.

Quantum will be the first, cruising in Singapore and Malaysia with itineraries designed to accommodate cruisers looking for shorter trips.

Quantum of the Seas features a whole new array of ‘first at sea’ features onboard exclusive to RCCL, such as RipCord by iFly, the first skydiving experience at sea, and the North Star, a jewel-shaped glass capsule with a spectacular ocean view. Plus innovative sporting and entertainment spaces like the SeaPlex and Two70° that morph from day to night,” said Ms Chin.

“From Singapore, Quantum of the Seas will be sailing on a three-night cruise to Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang) on June 12, followed by a nine-night one-way cruise on June 15 to Shanghai visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong and Xiamen.”

In addition, RCCL intends to homeport more ships in Asia in the summer of 2016.
“We are planning to deploy the new Quantum Class ship Ovation of the Seas, which will be launched next year, to be based in Tianjin from the summer of 2016. We will have five ships based in Asia,” said Ms Chin.

RCCL is investing in agent training in both Southeast Asia and China to increase brand awareness. Just last month, the line announced it had launched its reservation system for travel agents selling RCCL products, called ESPRESSO. The line has begun to train agents in Singapore and China and will eventually roll out the face-to-face training to all agents.

The three-night sailing onboard Quantum of the Seas has almost sold out and the longer 10-night cruise and fly package starts at SG$2,299.