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May 23, 2014

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Port aims to be Asia’s No. 1 for cruise liners

AS the 115,000-ton Sapphire Princess set sail on its maiden voyage from Shanghai’s Wusongkou Port yesterday, local officials expressed optimism in the growing cruise liner market.

The Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal in Baoshan District is now home to five major cruise liners. A total of 217 cruises with over a million passengers will berth at the port by the end of this year, said Fang Shizhong, the district director.

“The world’s major cruise liner market has moved east to China, and Baoshan will become the top cruise liner harbor of China,” Fang said.

Some 70,000 passengers, mostly Chinese, will take the cruise in the next four months to South Korea and Japan, said Jan Swartz, president of the cruise liner Sapphire Princess.

Asia’s heaviest cruise ship, the 138,000-ton Mariner of The Seas of the Royal Caribbean International, and the world’s major luxury cruise ship, Princess, have made Wusongkou their home ports.

The Wusongkou Port will surpass Singapore to become Asia’s biggest cruise liner home port by 2015, said Lu Guangyuan, general manager of the Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal Development Co Ltd.

The port will launch a major renovation in September. On completion, two 200,000-ton super-sized cruise vessels can berth at the terminal at the same time.

The growing cruise economy will boost business opportunities in the area. Baoshan plans to build recreational facilities, luxurious hotels, shopping malls as well as a marina in the area, said Fang.

Developed by Baoshan District and Shanghai Yangtze Shipping Corp, Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal is the biggest cruise liner terminal in Asia built at a cost of 870 million yuan (US$140 million). It is shaped like a giant silver shell, symbolizing the “eye of the Yangtze River.”


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