Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) announced that it has entered into a partnership with Shanghai International Port (Group) Co. Ltd. (SIPG) to develop and expand the Chinese cruise market. The Memorandum of Understanding is supposed to build up long term partnership between the two companies, focusing on cruise operations, marketing, staffing and sharing management experience. 

Pursuant to the partnership agreement, Royal Caribbean will train and develop new staff and improve quality of service, besides upgrading infrastructure at the port. 

The partnership is also a step by Royal Cruises to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific Region. Royal Caribbean, the second largest cruise company in the world, expects revenues from international operations to form a major chunk of the total revenues. 

Cruises have gradually gained acceptance from Chinese tourists as a new vacation product, and after several years of marketing promotion by some famous international cruise companies, the Chinese cruise tourism market is showing great potential. Moreover, the upcoming international event, the 2010 Shanghai World Expo would attract more international cruises to China. 

Amid the global financial crisis, world cruise giant Royal Caribbean International is operating new routes by taking Shanghai as their home port, thus offering more voyage options for Chinese guests, in sync with the company’s long-term plans.
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