Nippon Yusen K.K. plans to renovate the 50,142 GT Asuka II ship in 2020. As more foreign lines are entering the Japanese cruise market, the shipping company is hoping to raise the competitiveness of the vessel, operated by its affiliate firm, by adding facilities like an open-air bath to meet all needs of the Japanese customers.
The cruise ship was completed in 1990 and called Crystal Harmony, with foreign registration. In 2006, it was renamed Asuka II.
At the cost of several billion yen, the refurbishment will add an open-air bath, as a reading lounge, Japanese and Western-style guest rooms. Equipment which follows tightening environmental regulations on vessels starting 2020 will also be introduced. The refit will be carried out in Singapore for around 1,5 months from mid-January, with the vessel resuming operations in March 2020.
Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry figures showed a record 315,000 Japanese people took a cruise in 2017, making the market very competitive.