Work is under way on what Carnival Corporation claims will be Japan’s first dedicated cruise terminal.
The facility at the port of Sasebo on Japan’s south-westerly Kyushu Island is due to open during summer 2020.
It follows a strategic partnership inked last March by the city, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), and Carnival.
Carnival will build and operate the terminal, which will be designed to house the company’s existing ships and forthcoming models.
Under the 20-year agreement, Carnival and its cruise brands will have berthing preference to “optimise” cruise itineraries calling in Japan.
It has pledged to continue working with the Japanese government and MLIT to “identify potential additional port development opportunities and future investments in the country”.
Japan is already a popular destination for a number of Carnival brands.
The company expects to end the year having made nearly 800 calls in Japan at more than 50 different ports using 15 ships.
“As the cruise industry’s first terminal in Japan, this ground breaking is a historic day for all of us at Carnival Corporation and for our partners in this exciting project,” said Michael Thamm, group CEO, Costa Group and Carnival Asia.
“This new terminal will complement our strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region and furthers our commitment to help facilitate the rising demand for cruise vacations in the region, enabling even more people from around the world to discover why Japan is such an extraordinary destination, one that many of our guests have long enjoyed.
“And as our company’s first cruise terminal investment in Japan, we are excited to mark the start of our long-term relationship. We are actively working on future investment opportunities to help further support growth and expand the Japanese cruise industry for years to come.”