MOL Cruises announced that the Japanese cruise operator will begin operating a new cruise ship ‘MITSUI OCEAN FUJI’ in December 2024 and has launched a new brand ‘MITSUI OCEAN CRUISES,’ under which it develops a luxury cruise business with multiple ships including flagship ‘Nippon Maru.’ After 2027, MOL Cruise plans to add two new ships.
The new ship is based on a small luxury cruise ship ‘Seabourn Odyssey’ of U.S.-based ‘Seabourn Cruises.’ “We are going to offer new customer experiences combing Japanese high-quality hospitality with U.S. or Europe-style luxury quality,” Yusuke Ueno, MOL Cruises president, said. “We want to serve Japanese original well-being cruises by preparing a variety of options.”
MOL Cruises is trying to exploit a new customer target through a new brand. The global cruise market is expected to increase passengers from 2.97 million in 2019 to 3.15 million in 2023. Despite the cruise market of Japan was opened later than the world after the pandemic, the demand has been recovering quickly.
Japanese cruise operators used to target retired senior travelers only because of the limited fleet. MOL Cruises, however, expects to attract senior working people or couples in Japan and even inbound travelers as new customers.
MOL Cruises is focusing on increases in visiting ports and local tourism experiences, taking advantage of the new small-sized ship, which can enter small ports of local cities.
In the beginning, short cruises of two or three nights will be offered, and then the services will extend to one-week cruises or even a world tour cruise in the future. Prices may be 70,000 JPY to 100,000 JPY a night for the short cruises.
MITSUI OCEAN FUJI has all 229 suite rooms of seven categories, served by butlers and concierges. Two full-service restaurants and two buffet restaurants are available on board. One of the unique features is that working spaces with a high-speed Wi-Fi function are secured for workcation or telework opportunities.