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China's cruise business makes waves

Source:   Time:

BEIJING, May 11 (Xinhuanet) -- China's cruise business has been making waves in recent years, as is supported by residents’ fast-growing income and maturing cruising services.

Cruise voyages to Japan and South Korea are the most popular among the main body of the Chinese cruisers.

Both Japan and South Korea are working hard to enter China’s cruisers market by making it easier for them to secure entry visas, supported by the depreciating value of the Japanese yen and the Korean won.

According to the China Cruise Industry Development Report released by the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association (CCYIA), the total number of cruise voyages from China grew to 466 by the end of 2014, a 14.78 percent year-on-year growth. And of the 114 million outbound trips made by the Chinese in the year, 739,600 took the cruises.

The CCYIA expects the number of cruises that will originate from Chinese ports to reach 12 in 2015, from eight in 2014. The number of Chinese tourists taking cruises will cross 1 million for the first time in 2015.

Since 2006, major global cruise companies, including the Italy-based Costa Cruises and the U.S.-based Royal Caribbean Cruises, have set up cruise lines starting from China.

Costa Cruises launched a 86-day around-the-world cruise to meet the need of the more-inquiring, high end of the market. Costa Atlantica set off on March 1 from Shanghai to touch five continents and visit 28 destinations in 18 countries and regions.

And from late last month, Costa Cruises started the all year round service by its third vessel the Costa Serena from China.

Also, in the month, Royal Caribbean announced that its newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, would make its home base in Shanghai (Baoshan), starting in June.

Earlier, in November, Royal Caribbean and Ctrip.com International Ltd, an online travel operator of China, announced the setting up of the joint venture the SkySea Cruises, designed for the Chinese market. Their new line will begin operation in the middle of 2015 for ports of South Korea and Japan.

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