Ha Long port welcomes first int’l cruise

Created 01 December 2018
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VietNamNet Bridge – The Ha Long International Passenger Terminal in Ha Long city, in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh, welcomed its first international cruise, the Celebrity Millennium, on November 27.

Ha Long port

VietNamNet Bridge – The Ha Long International Passenger Terminal in Ha Long city, in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh, welcomed its first international cruise, the Celebrity Millennium, on November 27.

The five-star cruiser from the US’ Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines departed from Hong Kong with over 2,000 passengers and nearly 1,000 crew members of different nationalities, called on the world wonder Ha Long Bay and other tourism attractions in Quang Ninh province on November 27-28.

Ha Long port
 

Welcoming the first international passenger cruise is the first victory in Quang Ninh’s tourism development journey as it opens new spaces for international tourism and economic co-operation and development. By entering into commercial operations, the Ha Long International Passenger Terminal, Vietnam’s first specialized terminal built by a private company earmarked to serve international visitors, is expected to help lure elite visitors to the heritage city, spurring local tourism development.

Ha Long port
 

In fact, the seaport system in many Vietnamese localities currently carries a dual role: receiving both passenger cruises and freight ships, therefore failing to attract domestic and international passenger cruises.

In many locations, the ports simply serve as transit or landing points for ships with poor associated technical and service facilities. Passengers need to transit from a distance before reaching the ports. This practice is a bottleneck hindering cruise tourism development and dampening the reputation of local tourism attractions.

Ha Long port
 

As the cost for building a passenger terminal is huge, no localities or investors have injected money into building such ports in Vietnam. Thus, Quang Ninh’s mobilization of private sector capital to build this kind of port is of great significance not only for provincial development, but also for opening new horizons for national cruise tourism.

While it is expected to be hard to reach a profit with a specialised passenger terminal in the first several years, it attests to Quang Ninh’s strong commitment to “going green.” This is a focal transport infrastructure projects helping the province attract more investment capital for its socioeconomic development.

Ha Long port
 

Mr. Nguyen Duc Long, Chairman of the Quang Ninh People’s Committee, said that the Ha Long International Passenger Terminal will play a significant role in economic development and the public-private partnership model applied in building the terminal is an effective investment model that is deployed in a raft of major transport projects in the province.

Long expressed his hope to receive more international cruises and tourists to Ha Long in particular and Quang Ninh in general.

Earlier, on November 22, the Vietnam Maritime Administration issued a document approving the operation of Ha Long International Passenger Terminal.

Ha Long port
 

The construction of the port project began in November 2017 with the total capital of VND1.1 trillion ($47.8 million) under the PPP format between Sun Group and Quang Ninh province. The work consists of a quay, a marina, a passenger terminal, and an administrative building, with the 524m quay being able to receive two cruise ships at the same time, each with the capacity of up to 225,000GRT and a total of 8,460 passengers and crew members. The five-star, three-storey passenger terminal covers a total of 13,500sq.m, which was designed by Bill Bensley, one of the globe’s five most acclaimed architects.

The terminal carries the quintessence of both Vietnamese and European culture and architecture, resembling part of Hoi An ancient town in the central region in outer appearance, while its sophisticated inner décor brings to mind an ocean cruiser from the 13thcentury with wooden poles and steel and wooden ceilings.

The terminal wall features unique design with 27 photo frames depicting nautical charts and old ships.

The Ha Long cruise port is expected to welcome 10 international cruises by the end of the year, laying the premises for the province to usher in a new chapter of tourism development with the number of international arrivals to far surpass the 12 million arrivals benchmark (5.2 million foreign arrivals) set in 2018.

 

Thanh Van

 Source: VNN - Bridge

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