SINGAPORE, July 9, 2007 – Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE, OSE: RCL), announces the opening in Singapore of its Asia-Pacific headquarters – Royal Caribbean Cruises (Asia) Pte. Ltd.
The regional headquarters, which is located in Singapore’s central business district, will support the marketing efforts in the Asia-Pacific region for three of the company’s cruise brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises. Headed by Rama Rebbapragada, managing director for Asia Pacific, the office also will provide sales and trade support in the region.
“Our expansion to the Asia-Pacific region is an integral part of our international business development and growth strategy, and it is an exciting time to be here,” said Rebbapragada. “We will have Royal Caribbean International’s Rhapsody of the Seas, the largest ship sailing in this region, ‘homeported’ here at the end of this year and we are committed to another Asia season in 2008-09, offering Asia-Pacific guests our unique and award-winning cruising experience.”
With the number of cruise guests sailing in the Asia-Pacific region projected to grow by more than 40 percent, from 1.07 million in 2005 to 1.5 million by 2010*, the opening of Royal Caribbean’s Asia-Pacific regional office is strategically timed. Royal Caribbean International’s range of cruise offerings is perfectly placed to take advantage of rapid economic growth and a renewed interest in cruising from key source markets in the region.
Building on Royal Caribbean’s success and expertise in the North American and European markets, the Asia-Pacific office will spearhead the company’s expansion plans in the region and support growing demand for itineraries in the Asia Pacific.
“This region shows great growth potential in terms of providing new destinations for international cruise guests from North America and Europe given the varied and exciting cultures throughout the region, and their accessibility to the coastline,” said Adam Goldstein, president of Royal Caribbean International. “This, coupled with the prospect of Asian markets being substantial source markets for new cruise guests, gives us tremendous opportunity for growth in the region.”
The company’s establishment of an Asia-Pacific office complements several other recent efforts that have been made to grow the cruise industry in Singapore. In 2005, the Singapore Cruise Centre underwent a $5 million facelift that aimed to strengthen its position as the nerve centre for the cruise industry in Asia. The Cruise Centre is expected to attract 1.2 million cruise passengers to Singapore by 2010. The Singapore Tourism Board also administers a $10 million fund set up jointly with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Cruise Centre to boost the local cruise industry and encourage major international cruise companies to partner with Singapore in product development and marketing initiatives.
In December 2007, Royal Caribbean International’s Rhapsody of the Seas will debut in Singapore. Rhapsody of the Seas will be the largest ship to cruise in Asia and will offer travelers a selection of six short cruises that will range from two to five nights and call at the tropical ports of Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang) and Penang, Malaysia, as well as the exotic sun-soaked islands of Langkawi, Malaysia; and Phuket, Thailand. Rhapsody of the Seas also will offer three spectacular 12-night voyages between Singapore and Hong Kong, each featuring two-day calls in Bangkok (Laemchabang), Thailand, and Hanoi Haiphong, Vietnam. These extended itineraries also include calls at Sihanoukville, Cambodia; and Saigon Vung Tau, Nha Trang and Hue Danang, Vietnam.
The ship’s Asia tour continues on from Hong Kong, where it will arrive in time for the Chinese New Year season, offering a series of itineraries calling at the ports of Okinawa, Japan; Taipei Keelung and Kaohsiung, Taiwan; and Sanya, China. The ship will then sail from Shanghai, China, with port calls in Japan and Korea.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur and Azamara Cruises. The company has a combined total of 35 ships in service and six under construction. It also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, Latin America and New Zealand.