Three cruise lines mulling opening base in Okinawa
Three large cruise lines that are operating worldwide are reportedly studying a possibility of establishing a base port in Okinawa.
The three companies, Carnival Corporation, the No.1 cruise company with 10 cruise line brands that has 48% worldwide market share, Royal Caribbean International, the No.2 cruise ship company with 24% market share, and Gentin Hong Kong that runs Star Cruises, Asia’s largest cruise company are reportedly think of establishing a base port. According to several people familiar with the matter, the companies are evaluating Motobu, Hirara, and Ishigaki Ports. The companies want to secure priority use of the wharf at each port.
National and private organizations involved in the discussions with the cruise companies say that they are ready to proceed with the necessary improvements in the port facilities. They are also asking the cruise companies to invest in local tourism related and commercial facilities in exchange to the priority use of the wharf in each port.
Government officials say that the possible investment by the cruise companies would mean more port calls at the three ports and continuing use of the ports in the future.