Princess Cruises has announced its new ambassadors for the inaugural sailing of its newest ship, the Majestic Princess.
Basketball legend Yao Ming and his wife Ye Li have been chosen by the line for the ship’s first sailing from Shanghai. The ceremony, which will be held on July 9 is the start of official celebrations.
“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 started The Yao Foundation after the devastating earthquake which destroyed much of the Sichuan Province in 2008. The foundation built 23 schools and now currently focuses on providing sports education to school-aged children.
“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 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.