China’s leading travel services provider Ctrip has strengthened its expansion into the cruise market with the appointment of Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS) as its General Agent in China.
The partnership, which was announced at the official Ctrip vessel naming ceremony last week, will see WSS China providing full ships agency services in Japan to Ctrip’s brand new fleet, the M/S ‘SKYSEA GOLDEN ERA’, cruise vessel operating across routes between China and Japan.
Speaking at the event, WSS Ships Agency Manager for China, Emilia Shao said:
“Working with Ctrip as their cruise vessel port agent, we will assist in ensuring that scheduled voyages are completed as efficiently as possible. Amongst the services that we will provide, we will manage tourist berthing and unberthing, enabling a smooth turnaround in port.”
This new relationship comes at a significant time, as the Chinese cruise market continues to expand at a rapid rate. Ms Shao continues:
“With a general improvement in standards of living across China, more and more people are choosing cruise as a travel option. The Chinese maritime industry is seeing a shift from the traditional merchant shipping sector to the cruise market.”
“This new and exciting Chinese cruise market brings with it opportunities for entertainment, catering and tourism, subsequently improving our employment rate and the steadily blooming Chinese economy.”
The Port Operations Director of Skysea Cruise Line said:
“The port calls that our cruise vessels will make will typically be short, and the ability to coordinate timely and safe berthing with local authorities is vital. Working with a global ships agency such as WSS, who has extensive experience in the Asian cruise market and who can provide a fast, accurate, end to end service, makes perfect sense.”
Working closely with growing numbers of cruise customers around the world, WSS provides full agency services including port call and vessel service pre-planning, arrival and clearance arrangements, monitoring of vessel operations, boarding and departure management and disbursement accounts.
WSS’s Global Ships Agency Agreement aims to streamline and simplify multiple port call operations for customers by predefining their requirements and appointing a Global Agent. Customers receive the same level of service and documentation wherever they are in the world, saving time and resources and avoiding complex administration and varying service levels.