Quang Ninh – As the cruise season usually starts in October and ends in April, travel agencies in the northeastern coastal province of Quang Ninh have made plans and established linkages to welcome cruise ships.
In late October, two cruise ships – the Viking Orion of Norway and the Bahamas’s Silver Muse – carried some 1,200 tourists from Europe to the province, where the visitors explored the famous Ha Long Bay and local cultural and cuisine traditions.
Since the beginning of the year, Quang Ninh has welcomed many cruise ships, some of them having returned twice. According to the Quang Ninh Department of Tourism, so far 18 international cruise ships have registered to bring tourists to Ha Long Bay from late October to the end of the year.
They are all luxury ships which have docked in Quang Ninh many times such as Viking Orion, Silver Muse, Celebrity Solstice, and Silver Whisper. The cruises specialise in serving tourism routes in Asia and South Pacific, and depart from many different countries.
With an adequate port system, beautiful landscapes, and a prime location in Asia’s important maritime traffic routes, Quang Ninh is a suitable stop for cruise journeys in the region and the world.
Especially, the province is located near China – a potential market for cruise tourism with many international shipping lines operating cruise ships. It is also a convenient stop near other North Asian markets such as Taiwan (China), the Republic of Korea, and Japan.
In addition, Quang Ninh has developed many destinations that meet cruise tourists’ needs for entertainment or shopping, such as the high-class amusement and entertainment area SunWorld Ha Long Complex, Bai Chay beach, Quang Ninh Museum – Library, Quang Ninh Expo Centre and Ha Long market.
The operation of the Ha Long International Passenger Port since November 2018 has created a big boost for the province’s cruise tourism. The port can serve two ships at the same time and can serve cruises of up to 225,000 GRT, carrying 8,460 people.
Marko Snajdar, Captain of the Viking Orion said that Quang Ninh has many advantages to develop cruise tourism thanks to its location, its nature, a developed infrastructure system and adequate services.
According to him, when arriving at the province, tourists have got memorable experiences here.
With the recent changes in Vietnam’s visa policy, cruise tourists can complete procedures quickly and have more time for sightseeing and relaxation.
Quang Ninh tourism businesses have also taken the initative in linking with travel agencies to form a synchronous tourism product chain.
Nguyen Thi Thu Hang, Director of Tan Hong Ltd Company’s Quang Ninh branch, said that she highly appreciates the infrastructure investment and improved quality of services on Ha Long Bay. She said the activities on the bay are very interesting and safe, attracting a large number of tourists to spend the night on the bay.
She added that foreign tourists, especially European ones, love to learn about the local ethnic culture, so her company has piloted a tour in the mountainous area of Hoanh Bo, which received positive feedback. Hang said the company will bring more guests to the area in the coming time.
To make Quang Ninh become an attractive destination for cruise tourists, the province has implemented communication marketing campaigns, especially promotional activities abroad, and cooperated with shipping companies to promote the locality’s images. The province has also developed specific short-term and long-term plans for the development of the cruise tourism market.
At the same time, the province’s tourism sector continues with efforts to improve service quality, focusing on developing luxury tourism product lines, and training human resources, promoting the strengths of transportation infrastructure, and ensuring security and safety for visitors./.