After 279 sailings and carrying just under 500,000 guests, SkySea Cruise Lines will wrap up operations as the brand is being shut down.
The Golden Era will move to Marella Cruises in 2019 as challenges continue to face the Chinese market.
“I call on the capital markets to be more patient with the cruise industry in China,” said Weihang Zheng, executive vice president and secretary general of the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association. “The cruise lines have adjusted their capacity due to the effects of the chartering model.”
Zheng said Chinese ports were expanding and ready for more ships, but ports across Asia were not keeping pace.
“The industry in China is in a period of market adjustment,” he said. “I think that it is by no means out of expectation. It requires more patience to foster an emerging industry.”
Zheng commended SkySea for launching a domestic Chinese brand in 2015 with a unique onboard product and varied homeport strategy.
“There is no doubt, however, that even after the adjustments, China will be the market with the largest potential,” he added.
Zheng stressed that the cruise industry in China will flourish over the long-term, and that it requires careful planning and development, and operators should not expect huge profits in the short term.
“In future, more capital will be invested in the cruise industry. Please be more patient with your expected return,” he said.