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February 22, 2013

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Queen Mary 2 kicks off big year for city's terminal

QUEEN Mary 2, one of the world's largest passenger liners, docked at Shanghai's Wusong International Cruise Terminal yesterday, the first of about 160 cruise ships expected to call at the city this year.

The Queen Mary 2, which began its journey in the United Kingdom with over 2,300 passengers and 1,200 crew, arrived at the terminal in Baoshan District at 9am, making it the biggest liner that has docked in the city.

Passengers disembarked at 9:30am and many got on tour buses to visit the city and nearby areas. The liner will be berthed at the terminal until it leaves for Australia at 10:30pm today.

"The number of international passenger liners to dock at the terminal will be more than double that of last year, reaching 160 and making it one of the busiest ports for liners in Asia," said Lu Guangyuan, general manger of the Wusong International Cruise Development Co.

Lu said 135 liners have confirmed visits to the city this year, including Costa Cruise's Costa Victoria, followed by Asia's largest luxury cruise ship, the Royal Caribbean International's Voyager of the Seas. Both have chosen the Wusong terminal as their home port after maiden voyages to the city in May and June.

Some 680,000 passengers from abroad are expected to visit Shanghai with the liners this year, according to the Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.

The Wusong terminal began operations in October 2011 and accommodated 60 international liners in 2012, bringing over 300,000 tourists from China and overseas, said Wang Hong, director of Baoshan District, at a forum on the cruise business.

Wang said the district will offer tax rebates and customize more sightseeing packages for cruise passengers in the future.


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