Tianjin Targeting 800,000 Passengers in 2017

The Ovation of the Seas in Tianjin

With four berths, Tianjin expects around 800,000 passengers this year, and through the first six months of 2017, traffic was up some 102.4 percent.

Customs and border protection has been further refined, reducing clearance times to 10 seconds in some instances with automated terminals.

Earlier this year, the port signed a MOU with Costa to build a supply and distribution center, with Costa committing to year-round voyages from Tianjin through 2019.

Also of note, the MSC Lirica sailed from Tianjin in February, offering a new “Around China” itinerary with interporting in Zhoushan, Hong Kong and Xiamen, as well as calls to South Korea and Japan, according to Da Wu, vice general manager of Tianjin International Cruise Terminal.

Wu hopes his port will offer more diversified products, including cruises to nowhere, to attract new passengers

Zhengdong Zhang, general manager, added: “Similar to MSC’s model, we are exploring opening domestic routes to Dalian, Yantai, Qingdao, Rongcheng and Weihai, creating a product in which passengers only need their national identification card to travel.”

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Hong Kong: Homeport and Transit Call Opportunity

Ovation of the Seas in Hong Kong

The new World Dream will arrive to homeport at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal this November as another new ship uses Hong Kong as a turnaround destination.

Next year is looking to be on par with 2017 in terms of traffic, with 190 calls and 550,000 passengers, according to Jeff Bent, managing director of Worldwide Cruise Terminals, which oversees Kai Tak.

Around 75 percent of cruise calls at the facility are turnarounds.

“Ships leaving north Asia seasonally are making more transit calls in Hong Kong on their way to other markets, so there is a marginally positive effect for us, and perhaps an opportunity for seasonal homeports,” added Bent.

Source markets are certainly diverse, with Hong Kong locals, mainland Chinese and overseas passengers all playing into the passenger mix.

“The number and percentage of local Hong Kong passengers is increasing with additional homeporting capacity, and Hong Kong will likely be our largest source market this year,” Bent said. “The Chinese market presents its share of challenges, but is still vastly underpenetrated compared to mature markets.”

Hong Kong is the world’s tenth largest outbound travel market by spending. New transportation options will give mainland Chinese more options to board ships leaving Kai Tak in the next few years highlighted by high speed rail, a bridge to Zhuhai and Macao, and a new highway border crossing.

Of note, Kai Tak welcomed its millionth cruise passenger this year when the Majestic Princess called.

World Dream to Debut in China in November

World Dream
Genting World Dream sistership to the Genting Dream

Genting Cruise Lines is set to launch World Dream, the newest ship for Dream Cruises, this November at her dual homeports in Hong Kong and Guangzhou (Nansha) to continue to grow the Pearl River Delta cruise industry and provide fly/cruise options for the region with new itineraries to Vietnam and the Philippines.

Genting said in a prepared statement that the World Dream has been conceived as a floating high-end, integrated resort at sea leveraging on the parent company Genting Hong Kong’s core expertise in both land and sea based businesses. The debut of World Dream will further enhance the brand’s capacity to offer a broad spectrum of multi-generational programs and facilities for guests, highlighted by Asian hospitality and a market leading crew-to-guest ratio.

“Genting Cruise Lines is reinforcing our position in the Pearl River Delta Region by welcoming the World Dream to begin her service with dual homeports in Guangzhou (Nansha) and Hong Kong, following in the footsteps of the Genting Dream,” said Kent Zhu, president of Genting Cruise Lines. “Designed to cater to the growing Chinese market with tailor-made facilities, including quad occupancy staterooms to accommodate families, the World Dream will further build upon our ongoing commitment to this region, which has seen Guangzhou (Nansha) evolve into China’s second busiest port and the strengthening of Hong Kong as a premier fly/cruise hub.”

Six-day/five-night cruises will call at Manila and Boracay in the Philippines from Nov. 17 through March 31, alternating with same length sailings to Ho Chi Minh and Nha Trang in Vietnam from Dec. 3 to October 2018, targeting both local and international guests.

The twin sister ship the Genting Dream, meanwhile, will be deployed at her new homeport in Singapore with new itineraries to North Bali and Surabaya in Indonesia, as well as Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia and Phuket in Thailand.

“By doubling Dream Cruises Fleet with the addition of World Dream, we are delighted to be offering our guests and valued travel partners diverse itineraries featuring new, authentic destination experiences,” commented Thatcher Brown, President of Dream Cruises.