Interview: Viking Cruises sets sail with confidence in Chinese market, senior executive says

(Xinhua) 14:12, June 08, 2023

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Viking Cruises, one of the world's leading cruise operators, remains committed to the Chinese market and is taking steps to expand its businesses for Chinese customers, Brendan Tansey, managing director of Viking Cruises China, told Xinhua.

With the orderly resumption of outbound tourism from China this year, Viking Cruises has become the first cruise company to unveil plans to resume outbound European river cruise services for Chinese customers, Tansey said in a recent written interview.

On June 1, more than 100 Chinese tourists boarded a Viking cruise ship in Amsterdam in the Netherlands to embark on an 11-day journey along the Rhine River.

"After a three-year hiatus, Viking Cruises is delighted to welcome Chinese tourists in Europe once again," he said.

"The resumption of European river cruise operations for the Chinese market reflects Viking Cruises' unwavering dedication and a strong commitment to investing in China," Tansey said.

Founded in 1997, Viking Cruises is a prominent multinational company known for its luxury river and ocean cruises. The company officially entered the Chinese market in 2016, offering customized European river cruise services tailored to Chinese tourists.

According to Tansey, Viking Cruises has specially arranged two cruise ships to serve the Chinese market this year sailing on the Rhine River route, and plans to resume the Danube River route next year. Furthermore, it plans to launch more products to provide Chinese tourists with a wider range of choices.

Viking Cruises is also expanding its sea cruise business for the Chinese market, he noted.

Tansey mentioned that Viking Cruises has already partnered with China Merchants Group's subsidiary, China Merchants Shekou, to establish a joint venture called China Merchants Viking Cruises, aiming to create luxury cruise travel products together.

In March this year, China Merchants Viking Cruises became the first cruise company in China to announce the resumption of international routes departing from its home port in China. On June 18, its luxury cruise ship dubbed China Merchants Eden will make its maiden voyage by taking Chinese tourists on a Japan loop route with Shanghai as its home port.

"Chinese travelers are increasingly appreciating the sense of value, quality and comfort during their journeys," Tansey said. To cater to this, Viking Cruises focuses on destination experiences in their itinerary planning, provides full Chinese-language services throughout the journey, and continuously enhances the quality of tourism concierge services, striving to meet the culinary preferences of Chinese tourists.

Regarding its future business plans, Tansey stressed that Viking Cruises has firm confidence in the Chinese market.

"The Chinese economy is continuously improving, with enormous market potential, and Viking Cruises will continue to cultivate the Chinese market," he said.

With comprehensive support from favorable policies and economic conditions, China will be one of the most important markets for the future development of Viking Cruises, he added.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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