Princess Cruises, the world’s largest international premium cruise line announced today that Yao Ming and his wife, Ye Li, will serve as Inaugural Cruise Ambassadors for Princess Cruises in China and officially name the new Majestic Princess during a ceremony and gala celebration.
The inaugural festivities will take place aboard Majestic Princess in Shanghai on July 9, as the culmination of weeks of celebrations, upholding maritime traditions, as well as featuring traditional Chinese, contemporary Chinese, and western-inspired cultural performances that took place between Rome and Xiamen.
“It is a great honour that Yao Ming and Ye Li have graciously accepted our invitation to officially name Majestic Princess and serve as the Inaugural Cruise Ambassadors at our celebration welcoming our newest ship to China,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Yao Ming is globally recognised for his success in China and the United States, truly embodying the ‘East meets West’ spirit of our international cruise line.”
Yao Ming and his wife, Ye Li, were both born in Shanghai and were both team members of China’s national basketball teams. Yao Ming is an icon, one of the world’s best-known athletes, a global ambassador of basketball, an eight-time NBA All-Star, and most recently, an inductee into the NBA Hall of Fame.
The couple has established The Yao Foundation in response to the devastating 8.0 earthquake in Sichuan Province, China in 2008. The Yao Foundation funded the construction of 23 schools in the region, Yao Foundation Hope Primary Schools, and is currently focused on helping provide sports education to the youth generation in the countryside regions of China with the implementation of “Yao Foundation Hope Primary School Basketball Season" projects. They help to select volunteers to support sports education and basketball training, organise basketball leagues for the rural primary schools to help more students learn the team sport and understand the importance of growing up with fitness and good health. This year will be the 10th year for "Yao Foundation Charity event." It has become the biggest, the longest and most influential sports charity event in China. In 2017, Yao Foundation Charity event tournament will begin on July 30 in Hong Kong.
“We are honoured to serve as the Inaugural Cruise Ambassadors for Princess Cruises and officially name the new Majestic Princess,” said Yao Ming. “I’m inspired that Princess Cruises also cares so deeply about youth development in China and appreciate their support of our foundation. We look forward to enjoying a future holiday aboard Majestic Princess, China’s newest cruise ship.”
Majestic Princess promises the ultimate cruise holiday for Chinese travellers, offering Princess Cruises' renowned warm, welcoming, international service – now enhanced for Chinese travellers’ satisfaction. The new cruise ship also features two specialty dinner menus by Michelin star-awarded chefs at Harmony and La Mer, “Fantastic Journey,” the most technologically-advanced, immersive musical and cinematic production show at sea, and the Princess Luxury Bed developed with board-of-medicine certified sleep expert, Dr. Michael Breus.
Princess Cruises is also debuting “Camp Discovery” – an interactive family enrichment program developed in part by Discovery Communications, California Science Centre, and educators from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University – that is designed to foster creativity and initiate a love for learning that prepares children to better navigate their education and development at early learning ages.
Majestic Princess is currently sailing on her “Silk Road Sea Route” – a 49-day journey from Rome to Shanghai, retracing the ancient Chinese maritime Silk Road trade route. During the voyage, she will have visited a total of 22 ports including Athens, Dubai, Cochin, Singapore, Port Klang, and Xiamen before her arrival at Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal. Majestic Princess will begin her first homeport season in Shanghai on July 11.
In 2018, two 14-day Grand Asia voyage sailings between Shanghai and Singapore, will be available to guests throughout the world on Majestic Princess. These sailings will visit Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand, including spending more time ashore on the late night call in Hong Kong. The first voyage departs Shanghai on February 25, 2018, with the second departing Singapore on March 11, 2018.
Princess Cruises will also call Australia home from September 2018 to March 2019. Majestic Princess will sail itineraries from Sydney and Auckland on voyages from 6 to 13 days in length, and will call in ports at destinations including New Zealand, Tasmania, Fiji and other islands in the South Pacific.