Vietnam has become an attractive Asian destination for international cruise ships, with more than 400 cruise ships arriving last year, according to data of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
Vietnam sees sharp rise in cruise ship visits
Farriek Tawfik, director of Southeast Asia for Princess Cruises, said CLIA’s data showed Vietnam was sixth most-visited by cruise ships in Asia last year. Most of the cruise ships visited the country’s popular coastal tourist attractions like Danang, Hue, Nha Trang, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Halong.
According to Tawfik, the cruise tourism sector in Vietnam will maintain growth momentum this year. Princess Cruises will send 31 cruise ships to Vietnam this year, with a total of 80,000 foreign tourists aboard.
In the past, travel firms only arranged cruise ship visits to Vietnam between November and February. At present, many cruise lines offer tours from November until April or even all year round.
Speaking at a press conference on Princess Cruises’ plan in Vietnam on January 16, Tawfik said the cruise line expects 40% growth in the number of visitors to Vietnam this year.
In 2017, Princess Cruises ships made 22 visits to Vietnam, with more than 58,000 passengers on board.
This year, six ships of the cruise line – Majestic Princess, Sapphire Princess, Diamond Princess, Golden Princess, Sun Princess and Coral Princess – will make 31 visits to the country, with a total of 80,000 international passengers aboard.
From February 10 to 11, Princess Cruises will organize a fair in Vivo City commercial center in HCMC’s District 7 to introduce its cruise tours on Majestic Princess and Sun Princess vessels from Vietnam to Taiwan and Japan, and some cruise tours to Europe.
Tawfik said Princess Cruises targets high-income Vietnamese customers aged between 20 and 39.
According to Tawfik, the number of Vietnamese traveling on cruise ships has grown strongly. In addition to visa support, tour operators have interpreters for large groups of tourists along the journeys.
Cruise ship brings 3,000 tourists to Vietnam only in December, 2017
The cruise ship Voyager of the Seas with 3,000 tourists onboard arrived at Chan May Port in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue on September 12, allowing tourists to visit popular destinations in Hue, Danang, Hoi An and Nha Trang.
Saigontourist, Vietnam’s leading tour operator, is arranging tours for some passengers, which take in the Imperial Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda and the Tomb of Tu Duc in Hue City, and the Museum of Cham Sculpture, Linh Ung Pagoda, Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village and My Khe Beach in Danang City.
Meanwhile, others visit Hoi An where they take bicycle tours to learn about daily life in the ancient town, participate in cooking classes, enjoy specialties and drop by My Son Sanctuary, a World Heritage site recognized by UNESCO.
The ship today reaches Nha Trang Port so that tourists can visit Po Nagar Cham Tower, Long Son Pagoda, the Oceanography Institute, fishing villages, boat building factories, Vinpearl Land Amusement Park on Hon Tre Island, and handicraft villages, and do some shopping at Dam Market.
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