First cruise tour to set sail for South Korea after six-year suspension
The first international cruise liner taking tourists from China to South Korea after a six-year suspension will set sail from Shanghai at the end of this month.
Domestic cruise operator Blue Dream Cruises announced on Wednesday that the 25,000-ton Blue Dream Star is making Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal in Baoshan District its home port, and is scheduled to embark on a five-day voyage on August 30 to Jeju Island in South Korea, and Nagasaki, Japan.
It will be the first cruise voyage from ports in China to South Korea after the routes were suspended in 2017.
It came following the lifting of restrictions on other destinations for Chinese tour groups.
Groups of Chinese tourists are expected to return to popular outbound destinations such as Japan, the United States, South Korea, Germany, and Turkey.
These countries are on the list of a third batch of 78 countries and regions for outbound group tours, which was released on August 10 by China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Blue Dream Cruises said it quickly adjusted its route arrangement and strategy following the announcement, and coordinated on the application, review, and approval of docking procedures in South Korea, thus including South Korea into its cruises and providing more options for tourists.
The route would run through the whole autumn season with a visa-free policy, it said.
The itinerary would include visits to Halla Mountain National Park, the Teddy Bear Museum, and Yongduam Rock in Jeju.
The cruise ship, with 390 rooms and a capacity of 1,053 passengers, travels to outbound destinations such as Japan's Kagoshima, Fukuoka, Kochi, Sasebo, Nagasaki, Moji, Hiroshima, Beppu, and Osaka.
It was the first cruise liner to resume international cruise operations from the Chinese mainland in May and has thus far operated 16 voyages, recording about 22,000 visits by tourists.