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Saturday March 9, 2013

China’s first cruise

The Henna is the first Chinese cruise ship in the world (screen capture of the company’s website). The Henna is the first Chinese cruise ship in the world (screen capture of the company’s website).

China can now compete with other international cruise companies offering voyages in Asia.

CHINA’S first luxury liner, the Henna, was inaugurated on Jan 26 at the Sanya Phoenix Island international port.

This new luxury cruise liner, owned by HNA Cruises, can accommodate 1,965 passengers in 739 cabins, including nine suites with balconies. Facilities aboard include restaurants, designer shops, casinos, cinemas, spas and pools, and more.

From January to April, the Henna will sail between Sanya, Ha Long Bay and Da Nang, while its schedule from May to September will see it cruise through Tianjin, Incheon and Jeju Island. The inauguration of this first Chinese cruise liner means that China is now competing with other international cruise companies offering voyages in the region.

Meanwhile, Costa will launch its second liner in the region this year, thus quadrupling its transport capacity compared to the past two years. In total, Chinese clients will spend about a million nights aboard the company’s two liners operating in the area.

The Royal Caribbean, which currently owns and runs the largest cruise ships in the world, has also set up routes in Asia with its Voyager of the Seas. It will also be launching a new ship soon.

According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the European Cruise Council (ECC), China is set to dominate the cruise market in a few years. − AFP

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