China recently named its first luxury cruise ship, which is due to operate for the domestic market. While the country has begun to develop a domestic cruise industry acquiring converted ferries, older and secondhand tonnage, the new joint venture between Viking Cruises and China Merchants Shekou is expected to bring a new level of luxury to the market.
Viking Sun was rechristened Zhao Shang Yidun (China Merchants Eden), by China Merchants Group Director Duan Xianghui. Following the ceremony, the passengers were invited to tour the ship before she began her first coastal cruise.
China Merchants said the event “marked the beginning of a new era for China’s cruise industry.”
Viking Sun arrived in China to commence the new operation in March and after a period of quarantine, the handover was carried out in mid-April. The ship's registry was transferred to China and China Classification Society in order to meet regulations requiring a domestic registry for coastal sailings.