Port gears up for return of cruise liners

Yang Jian
The cruise liners which made Baoshan's Wusongkou their home port are expected to return and launch onshore events to prepare for the overall resumption of the industry.
Yang Jian

The cruise liners which made Baoshan’s Wusongkou their home port are expected to return and launch onshore tourism events to prepare for the overall resumption of the industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, the busiest in Asia and the world's No. 4, is now able to receive four luxury liners at the same time. They will be allowed to berth at the port with strict coronavirus prevention measures in place and with the approval of national authorities, Wang Hong, Party secretary of Baoshan District, told a press conference on Thursday.

“The pandemic has had a great impact on the world’s cruise liner sectors, but such influences are temporary and won’t change the long-term positive trends of the industry,” Wang said.

Port gears up for return of cruise liners
Ti Gong

Three luxury cruise liners — the Majestic Princess, the Norwegian Joy and MSC Splendida — at Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal in 2019.

According to the plan, the returning liners will serve as "floating resorts" to invite tourists to go onboard and experience their theaters, gyms and restaurants as well as surfing, rock climbing and swimming pools under strict COVID-19 prevention measures.

Since its opening in October 2011, the terminal has welcomed 2,200 cruise ships carrying over 13 million passengers. Several liners from the world’s top cruise liner companies — Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, MSC and Genting — have made their maiden voyages in Asia from the Wusongkou terminal.

The pandemic has had a great impact on the world’s cruise liner sectors, but such influences are temporary and won’t change the long-term positive trends of the industry.

Wang Hong, Party secretary of Baoshan District

All cruise liners operating at the port have been suspended since January 30 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The terminal received the last eight luxury cruise liners between January 22 and 29, carrying 30,595 inbound and outbound passengers along with over 10,000 crew. No coronavirus infections were reported among tens of thousands of passengers, thanks to joint prevention efforts.

The COVID-19 prevention measures of the Wusongkou terminal have become a model and given confidence to the global cruise liner sectors. Many cruise liner companies have expressed their hopes of restoring operations soon, according to the Baoshan government.

Despite the suspension, Wang said related industries and services are developing prosperously in Baoshan, such as cruise liner manufacturing, cargo supplies, standard making and credit system development along with talent training and information platform building.

“Only if we protect the cruise liner talent and optimize the platforms, can we fully prepare for the restored glory in future,” Wang said.

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