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June 9, 2011

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Duty free on offer at new cruiser port

DUTY free shops will open at Wusong Port in Baoshan District this year with the completion of the new port, officials said yesterday.

As part of the city's international port project, major work on the cruiser port at the mouth of the Yangtze River will be finished this month.

It includes a 24,000-square-meter terminal hall, a 514-meter-long bridge approach and docks.

As part of the port project, duty free shops and stands will be set up inside the terminal, said Xu Linbin, director of the riverside development and construction management committee of Baoshan District.

The first cruiser should anchor at the port in October, Xu said yesterday.

"Passengers will have the same experience as in airports," Xu told Shanghai Daily. "Our duty free facilities will be as big as those at the Pudong International Airport."

Meanwhile, a bigger commercial zone will be built at the port within two to three years, This will include a 40,000-square-meter shopping mall - with more duty free shops - and a comprehensive business area of 160,000 square meters, including hotels, office buildings and a recreation street, Xu added.

"Unlike the port at the north Bund, the port here is planned to receive bigger cruisers, mostly over 70,000 tons, and more passengers," Xu said.

"We want to attract more visitors as the cruiser industry is increasing in Asia."

The port is scheduled to receive 80 cruises next year, and when the whole project is finished within two to three years, the number could reach 120 to 130, Xu said. "We will be able to serve more than 200,000 passengers every year."

Xu said the main cruiser lines are currently between Shanghai and Hong Kong, Korea and Japan.

Routes to Taiwan and elsewhere in southeast Asia will be developed once the port is completed.

The first cruiser to arrive at Wusong Port is expected to be the 116,000-ton Diamond Princess in mid-October, according to Xu.


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