In recent years, cruise tourism has become one of the strengths of Quang Ninh tourism. Although affected by the world economic crisis, in the first months of 2013, cruise liners still regularly bring tourists to Ha Long.
A good sign
In the first months in 2013, the number of cruises bringing tourists to Ha Long Bay has dramatically increased. Many leading cruise liners have chosen Ha Long bay as destination in their journeys, such as Star Cruises, Costa, Silver Sea, Seaborn... According to the Deputy Head of Saigontourist Travel Service Company (branch in Quang Ninh)Vu Hong Quyen, in the first 3 months of the year, the company has received over 12,000 international arrivals to Ha Long Bay .
Another travel agency namely Hong Gai Travel Service Join Stock Company has also reopened the cruising route Fangchengang-Ha Long docking at the Hon Gai port every Friday.
Mr. Nguyen Thanh Binh, the Director of Tan Hong Travel Agency (Quang Ninh branch) said along with the increasing tourists from Hong Kong and China, more European and American tourists on luxury cruises have chosen Ha Long as an attractive site. This company has received around 5,200 tourist arrivals within the first three months of 2013.
The good news is that many luxury international cruises namely Silver Shadow, Seaborn Pride, Nautica, SS Voyager...have chosen Ha Long as a destination in their journeys.
In particular, in the context of global economic recessions, many cruises liners have cut down the number of trips. Ha Long, however, still has attracted a great deal of cruise liners bringing visitors to this beautiful place for the first time. For example, Henna world class cruise ship (under the Hainna Group, China) docked in Ha Long Bay bringing 2,000 tourists and crews to this world natural wonder. As scheduled, this cruise will have 52 arrivals to Ha Long city and Da Nang. The MV Henna cruise ship plans to arrive Ha Long city 3 or 4 times a week. The high-speed cruise liner Beiyou 16 with 22 crews on board safely docked at Tuan Chau port on March 3. As planned, this cruise will arrive in Ha Long twice a week bringing around 800 passengers/arrival.
According to the preliminary statistics from Quang Ninh Department of Cultural, Sports and Tourism, in the first 3 months of the year, Ha Long has received 73 international cruise arrivals, more than 47,000 tourist arrivals, seeing a sharp increase over the last year.
Enhancing the quality of services
This good sign is an encouraging result for Quang Ninh cruise tourism. This reflects great efforts of the tourism enterprises and relevant departments of the province. The leading travel agencies of Ha Long, namely Saigontourist and Tan Hong Travel Service Agencies always concern about improving service quality and developing special products to attract cruise tourists.
Currently, Tuan Chau group is now upgrading a comprehensive system of marinas, infrastructure, villas, hotels on Tuan Chau island; organizing Chinese and English training courses for staff members doing services.
It is expected with this positive sign, Quang Ninh cruise tourism will gain more achievements in 2013 and in coming years.