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Jason

Carnival Cruises Enter Asian Market for First Time

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March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Carnival Corp., the world's largest cruise line, will start offering cruises to Chinese travelers in July, its first expansion into the cruise industry in Asia.

Costa Cruises, Carnival's Italian-based division, will operate five-day round trips from Shanghai on the 1,000-passenger Costa Allegra, making stops in Nagasaki, Japan, and Cheju, Korea, the Miami-based company said in a press release distributed by PR Newswire. The first voyage will start July 3.

Carnival's Costa division will open offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai to oversee Asian operations. More than 31 million Chinese tourists traveled abroad last year, and the number is expected to rise to 50 million by 2010, the company said. The cruises will offer entertainment and food designed to appeal to Asia tourists, including adding a sushi and noodle bar.

Shares of Carnival fell 2 cents to $51.78 March 3 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. They had declined 3.2 percent this year through Friday.

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Jason,

Thanks for the info. I'm going to wait until they do something similar with the Carnival line, similar to what they did with the Carnival Liberty in Europe. The cruise was designed for English speaking cruisers.

I would love to go to Asia and I wouldn't mind traveling with Asians, but I can't recognize anything in the caligraphic characters of thier language system. I would have to be assured that I had some guidance.

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