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May 28, 2014

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Home » Metro » Entertainment and Culture

Unpopular city cruise given 2nd chance

A cruise service along Suzhou Creek that has failed to capture the imagination of locals or tourists is to be extended, an official said yesterday.

Since opening in April 2010, the number of people using the service has fallen 90 percent to just 10,000 a year, said Lin Yong, general manager of the Shanghai Suzhou Creek Sightseeing Co.

The lack of popularity is mostly due to the absence of things to see from the boat. The service was also halted for a year in 2011-12 while the creek was being dredged.

But from Saturday, the cruise will be extended by 2 kilometers to 21km and a round trip will take three hours to complete. Boats will run four times a day between the docks on Danba Road and Changhua Road in Putuo District and Waibaidu Bridge in Huangpu District.

The route will take in six districts and also pass the Bund, officials said.

The operators of the cruise said it travels under 12 bridges and passes several historical buildings, including the former Shanghai Flour Co and Sihang Warehouse.

While local authorities had high hopes for the cruise at its launch, it failed to spark people’s imagination.

“Most locals and tourists don’t even know it exists,” Lin said.

The worst thing about the cruise is that people can’t see any of the buildings talked about in the narration.

“I only remember seeing residential buildings and flood-control walls,” said a local passenger surnamed Zhang.

Too expensive

Also, with a round-trip ticket costing 210 yuan (US$33.50) and a single 130 yuan, the cruise has been criticized for being too expensive.

A similar trip along the Huangpu River costs just 100 yuan.

“If a single trip ticket on Suzhou Creek cruise was under 50 yuan, I might consider it,” said a man from Guangdong.

Tourists can choose between two types of boat — a covered vessel with room for 25, or an open-air version with room for nine — and in the future will be able to listen to the narration in English.

However, once onboard, they cannot get off until the end of the journey.


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