Carnival Corp is adding Alipay to cruise ships which are based in Asia from this year.

The popular payment service of Alipay will be rolliing out across Carnival owned ships which are based in Asia from this year. Having the service avavailbe on ships will help Chinese guests making payments while onboard as Alipay is widely used all across Asia in most stores and outlets.

Michael Thamm, group CEO, Costa Group and Carnival Asia, who oversees operations in China for Carnival Corporation, said:

“We are excited that our guests will now have the opportunity to use Alipay onboard our brands sailing in China and Asia.” “As we continue to grow interest and demand for cruising within the larger vacation market in China, this is another example of being able to stay close to our guests – understanding their needs and tailoring our offerings to their preferences. Alipay is a leading payment service already used by hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers, so we see this as a natural fit for us in China and a great opportunity to make onboard purchases even more convenient as we work hard to continually deliver a great experience to our Chinese guests.”

As part of this agreement, Carnival Corporation’s first and largest brand in China – Costa Cruises – will give passengers the option to use their existing Alipay accounts as a payment method for cabin folios. All onboard spending – including shopping, activities, excursions, food and drinks – will be added to each guest’s cabin folio as the purchase is made, and then cleared on a nightly basis via their Alipay account.

Alipay will debut on Costa Serena in China starting in 2017 before potentially expanding to additional ships in the Costa Asia fleet, including Costa Atlantica, Costa Victoria and Costa Fortuna in China, and Costa neoRomantica, which has been homeported in Japan since April of this year.

Based on the terms of the agreement, Carnival Corporation’s other leading brand in China and Asia, Princess Cruises, will also have the potential to offer Alipay onboard its ships sailing in Asia, including the all-new Majestic Princess that begins its first homeport season in Shanghai in July 2017 as the first cruise ship tailor-made for the Chinese market. Details of future rollout plans may be released at a later date.

Alipay is China’s most popular mobile payment and lifestyle platform with over 450 million users. It presents a significant opportunity for Carnival Corporation to ride on this digitalization trend and provide an upgraded experience for its cruise guests, offering Alipay as an additional payment option for onboard purchases.