Viking's river cruises, a market staple for English-speaking tourists, are taking on a new language and market with its first Chinese-language cruise this fall.
The primary language of the cruise and its shore excursions will be Mandarin, rather than English. The first itinerary will cruise the Rhine between Amsterdam and Basel. The company says there will be more later, a "selection of cruise products" aimed at the Chinese tourism market.
The statement says that "We believe this is the right decision for the business, as China is the world's biggest outbound tourism market and the number of Chinese outbound tourists is expected...to increase rapidly in the coming years."
At the other end of that market, China has also become a big market for ocean cruises, with nearly all major lines now basing ships in China at least seasonally.