Phan Xuan Anh – General Director of Tan Hong Tourism and Trading Service Company – one of the largest operators for cruise ship visitors to Vietnam, informed after a period of negotiation and preparation, the company will officially welcome the first international cruise ship back to Ha Long Bay, expected in early October.
This cruise ship will carry mainly French passengers and visit a number of tourist destinations in Vietnam, including Ha Long Bay.
The next cruise ships will continue to visit Vietnam’s international seaports, including Ha Long Bay, and the number will gradually increase at the beginning of next year – the peak tourist season for international cruise passengers, according to Mr. Xuan Anh.
Cruise passengers usually come to Vietnam from two directions: one from the markets of ASEAN countries (Singapore, Philippines) and other from China (from Hainan and Hong Kong).
According to Quang Ninh Provincial Department of Tourism, before the outbreak of Covid–19, there were about 100 superior international cruise ships, carrying about 150,000 – 180,000 passengers from all over the world, arriving in Ha Long Bay annually. The cruise passenger season starts from September, October the previous year and ends in April next year.
To develop the potential of cruise tourism, Quang Ninh has formed closed tourism chains to well meet the recreation, shopping and entertainment needs of cruise visitors, such as: SunWorld Ha Long Complex, high-end entertainment and recreation area, Bai Chay beach, the complex of Museums – Libraries, Fairs and Exhibitions, Ha Long Market…, aim to increase the visitor’s experience right after leaving the ship.
Specifically, from 27th November 2018, Ha Long International Cruise Port, with an investment capital of more than 1,100 billion dong in Bai Chay Ward, Ha Long City has officially come into operation.
This is the first dedicated passenger port, serving 2 ships at a time, the maximum tonnage of the largest vessel is 225000 GRT with a total of 8,460 people.
According to experts in cruise tourism, Ha Long Bay is located on an important maritime traffic route of Asia, in line with the route connecting cruise lines in the region and the world, especially close to China, where many international shipping lines bring cruise ships to operate. Ha Long is also the closest spot to reach other North Asian markets such as Taiwan, Korea, Japan… As a result, there should be more conditions to attract visitors.