Ctrip.com International, a top online travel service provider and cruise agency based in Shanghai announced today that it has agreed to acquire the cruise ship Celebrity Century from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL).
The acquisition will be made via Ctrip.com’s affiliate Exquisite Marine Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Skyseas Holding International Ltd, a company co-founded by Ctrip and other investors. Royal Caribbean will continue to operate the vessel until April 2015 and perhaps longer as part of a propective joint venture between RCCL and CTrip.
The Celebrity Century joined the Celebrity Cruises fleet in December 1995, and was built by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. The 71,545-ton ship carries 1,814 guests (double occupancy) and 860 crew.
“China is becoming one of the largest cruise markets in the world,” said Min Fan, Vice Chairman of the Board and President of Ctrip. “As the largest cruise agency in China, Ctrip has sent over 120,000 guests to cruise trips so far and acquired more than 10% of market share in China. We are excited about the strong growth of the cruise industry and strive to strengthen our leadership in this market.