Qingdao becomes one of China’s cruise homeports


A luxury cruise ship pulled into No 6 dock at Qingdao Port on June 16, marking the transformation of the city’s role as one of China’s cruise homeports.

The ship named Costa Classica with Carnival Corporation & PLC, a famous global cruise company based in the United States, had arrived in Qingdao to introduce a new route: Qingdao- Jeju-Shanghai-Seoul-Qingdao.

The new line costs 3,999 yuan ($618.25) per passenger, compared to the former price of 100,000 yuan ($15,460).

According to China Cruise & Yacht Industry Association, China received 223 cruise ships last year, 42.9 percent higher than the number in 2009.

“Cruise traveling is a new tourist concept in China and it can bring more vitality to the traveling market,” Sun Yi, vice director of Cruise & Yacht Industry Association, affiliated with China Communications and Transportation Association, told People.com.cn.

The cruise industry is one of the promising sectors in modern tourism. The industry is expected to experience financial growth in 2011 and coastal cities such as Qingdao will embrace any marine development.

“China’s cruise market will gradually expand to the whole of Asia as tour services and conditions evolve,” said Cheng Juehao, an associate professor from Shanghai International Shipping Institute, to a reporter from People.com.cn earlier.