Group wedding to take place during cruise liner festival

About 20 couples will say “I do” at a group wedding on a cruise liner.
Zhang Suoqing / SHINE

A float parades around Wusongkou Cruise Liner Port during last year's festival.

An osmanthus blossom festival, a float parade and a group wedding at sea will form part of a carnival from Saturday near the city’s major cruise liner port in north Baoshan District.

The Shanghai Cruise Liner Tourism Festival, which runs through October 6, will also include an international darts competition and sightseeing tours along the waterfront at the Mouth of Yangtze River, where a “continuous footpath” is about to be built, the district government said on Monday.

The activities are all part of the city’s annual tourism festival and aims to showcase the Wusongkou Cruise Liner Port, which has become the Asia’s largest and the world’s fourth largest cruise liner port following Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Cape Canaveral in the United States, said Zhu Zhongwei, director with the district’s waterfront commission.

The port, which was opened in 2012 for cruise tourism, received 2.8 million inbound and outbound tourists in 471 cruise trips in 2016, up 63 percent on 2015. As of August this year, the port has handled 1.87 million tourists in 308 cruise trips, said Zhu.

Expansion work on the port will be completed by the end of the year to allow four cruise liners to be able to berth simultaneously. The port will be able to handle 1,000 cruise liners a year by then.

Zhang Suoqing / SHINE

As of last August, Wusongkou port has handled 1.87 million tourists in 308 cruise trips.

To attract more tourists to the riverfront near the port, the district government will organize guided tours during the festival to invite residents and tourists to enjoy the scenery along the Huangpu and Yangtze rivers.

Not far from the port, people can walk into the city’s biggest osmanthus forest in Gucun Park during the festival.

Over 10,000 osmanthus trees covering 2.6 million square meters will fully blossom in the park from September 22. The trees in various species will turn the park into a sea of red, orange, yellow and green flowers with sweet fragrance, said Ye Qiang, the district’s tourism bureau director.

As a highlight of the festival, about 20 couples will attend a group wedding on a cruise liner in a five-day trip on September 20 in a bid to develop a new wedding ceremony format to please the post-1990s generation.

“The number of post-1990s have outnumbered their 1980s counterparts for the first time this year to become the main marriage force in the city,” said Cao Zhonghua, president of the Shanghai Wedding Trade Association.

The younger generation has quite different demands for their weddings comparing with their predecessors. They ask for fewer traditional conventions and more fun, Cao said.

A darts and music festival will be held on September 23-24 at Elite Valley on 258 Changjiang Road.

Dozens of floats will parade along a 4-kilometer-long route in north Shanghai on September 23 to mark the climax of the cruise liner festival. Several major roads including Baoyang, Mudanjiang, Mohe, Tongji and Yixian elevated roads, will be closed for the parade between 8pm and 8:45pm on the day, the Baoshan government said.

Zhang Suoqing / SHINE

A bird’s eye view of Wusongkou cruise liner port.

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