Cruise ship company Carnival Corp. says it's exploring the possibility of a ship building joint venture with a state-owned Chinese company and Italy's Fincantieri.
Carnival said Wednesday the joint venture could accelerate development of China's cruise industry which is expected to grow to 4.5 million passengers by 2020.
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The company said the possible joint venture with the Italian shipbuilder and China State Shipbuilding Corp. could result in the first world-class cruise ship to be built in China.
Cruise operators have traditionally sent older vessels to developing countries while saving their most advanced ships for U.S. and European customers.
But surging growth in China means it's a market operators can no longer ignore.