Princess Cruises will enter the China market for the first time next May, homeporting the Sapphire Princess in Shanghai for the summer.
The 2,670-passenger ship will offer three- to seven-day cruises to South Korea. It is expected to carry 70,000 passengers over a four-month season, mostly from China.
Princess would become the second Carnival Corp. brand sourcing passengers from China. Costa Cruises began sailing there in 2006.
Carnival Corp. has opened offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu to support its operations in China.
The 2014 China season will feature four itineraries: the seven-day itinerary will take passengers to the Korean capital of Seoul, the beach resort of Busan and the island of Jeju before returning to Shanghai; the five-day cruise will call at Jeju and Incheon; the four-day itinerary will call at Busan and Jeju; and the three-day cruise will call at Jeju. Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.