China cruise ships depart to Vietnam, with extensive new routes
China Merchants Viking Cruises has launched a new cruise route that will set sail to Vietnam from China from December, with major cruise operators exploring new routes and destinations to further fuel cruise tourism recovery in China.
The cruise operator unveiled its new sailing plans in Shanghai, on Wednesday.
The eight-day itinerary from Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, will take tourists to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular travel destination in Vietnam, and Da Nang, one of Vietnam's most important port cities.
China has ranked the second largest source market of Vietnam for inbound tourists, according to Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
During the voyage scheduled on December 3 by the luxury cruise liner CM-Yidun, travelers will take a cruise tour and explore local villages in the two destinations, as well as enjoy a leisure stroll on local beaches and experience Vietnam's folk culture and traditions in Hoi An Old Town.
Throughout the tour, a visa-free policy will be implemented.
The ship, which was built in 2017, has 465 rooms for 930 passengers.
The move was a step towards exploring the tourism market of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and the luxury cruise liner market in Southeast Asia, the cruise operator said.
"We look forward to overturning the stereotypical impression of Vietnam, and take guests to explore the hidden beauty of the country, launching the eight-day trip and providing a new winter tourism option for Chinese travelers," said Tan Wee-Hoon, senior vice president of product development and marketing of Viking Cruises Asian Markets.
Meanwhile, Viking Cruises released its inland cruise program for next year with the popular 11-day Danube River tour resumed for Chinese travelers.
It will put an extra two ships into operation to serve Chinese tourists in addition to the present two.
Amid the increasing outbound tourism market, the 11-day Rhine River tour proved popular among Chinese travelers with full reservation, or near full reservations, since its resumption in June, showcasing the strong demand and huge potential of China's outbound cruise market, the cruise operator said.
"We've noticed an increasing number of younger cruise tour guests in their 30s or 40s, and some even proposed on the ship," said Tan. "Giving consideration to the demand of Chinese tourists, we pay particular attention to details from the temperature of drinking water and cuisine options, to the design of facilities and even the character size on shampoo bottles, to make senior passengers able to function with convenience."