New cruise liners to call Shanghai home
Shanghai is to become home port for a group of new cruise liners from industry leaders.
The 135,500-ton Costa Venezia, the largest cruise liner from Costa Cruises and tailor-made for the Chinese market, will set off from the Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal in north Baoshan District on Saturday.
The 168,000-ton Spectrum of the Sea from Royal Caribbean International will make its maiden voyage from the terminal on June 3. Last month, the Explorer Dream of Genting Group set off from its home port.
Twenty-two of the world's top-level cruise liners have made Wusongkou their home port, said Wang Bin, director of Baoshan's waterfront development and construction management service center.
MSC Cruise will operate its MSC Bellissima from the Baoshan port around 2020, while Costa, Star Cruises and Royal Caribbean plan to base brand-new vessels at the Baoshan port around 2021, Wang said.
"These flagship vessels are expected to bring new vitality to the already dynamic cruise industry," Wang said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Since the Wusongkou terminal opened in October 2011, it has become the biggest port for cruise liners in Asia, and overtook Barcelona as the world’s fourth-largest port in 2016.
The port received 466 ships and nearly 3 million passengers last year, accounting for nearly 60 percent of China’s total number of cruise liner passengers and making China the second-largest cruise liner destination after the United States, by passenger numbers.
In January, three of the world’s newest luxury cruise liners — the Majestic Princess, the Norwegian Joy and MSC Splendida — berthed at the terminal simultaneously, marking the first time the Wusongkou terminal received three large cruise ships at the same time.
The terminal received some 26,000 inbound and outbound passengers that day, a record of daily passenger numbers among all cruise liner ports in Asia.