Tianjin port welcomes 3 int'l cruise ships within a week

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An aerial drone photo taken on April 13, 2024 shows the Silver Shadow cruise ship, operated by the Royal Caribbean Group, docking at Tianjin International Cruise Home Port in north China's Tianjin Municipality. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Silver Shadow cruise ship, operated by the Royal Caribbean Group, docked at Tianjin International Cruise Home Port in north China's port city of Tianjin on Saturday morning, making it the third international cruise ship to visit Tianjin within a week.

Featuring luxurious facilities, Silver Shadow is one of the most popular cruise ships in the Silversea fleet. The cruise ship began service in 2000 and underwent renovation in 2019.

The ship has visited Tianjin 17 times in the past and this is its first visit to the city this year.

The ship will dock at Tianjin for two days and one night. The majority of the over 200 foreign tourists from 21 countries and regions aboard will go on sightseeing tours in Beijing and Tianjin.

"We work with the cruise line and the port company to streamline passenger clearance procedures, allowing them to have more travel time in China," said Liu Yang, a local immigration inspection officer.

With the rapid recovery of the cruise industry, there is a growing demand among foreign tourists to visit China's scenic spots and historic sites, Liu said.

"Last time I came to China to visit the Great Wall. This time, I would like to experience something different. I hope to take the high-speed rail from Tianjin to visit and enjoy Beijing," said Christopher Hamilton, a tourist hailing from Britain.

A couple from Germany stated that they had only one day in Beijing and would like to visit the Great Wall, perhaps the Forbidden City, and other popular attractions.

As the largest cruise home port in northern China, Tianjin International Cruise Home Port has welcomed three international cruise ships within a week.

Cruise ship Serenade of the Seas, also operated by Royal Caribbean Group, and Seabourn Odyssey, operated by Seabourn Cruise Line, docked at this port on April 7 and 8, respectively.

"The frequency of international cruise ships visiting Tianjin has surpassed previous levels," Liu said.

The Tianjin International Cruise Home Port has welcomed 24 cruise ships with 74,000 tourists so far this year, according to Dong Zichen, deputy general manager of Tianjin International Cruise Home Port Co., Ltd.

"We are quite optimistic about the recovery of the cruise tourism industry in Tianjin," Dong said, adding that the port is estimated to receive 100 cruise ships and 300,000 inbound and outbound tourists this year.

Royal Caribbean International announced its new China route deployment plan in March, which includes two cruises deployed in the ports of Shanghai, Tianjin and Hong Kong, with the sailing timeframe spanning from February 2025 to April 2026.

"We always stick to the Chinese market, and we are committed to creating value for Chinese consumers, social and economic development, as well as inbound and outbound travel. We have full confidence in the resilience of the Chinese economy," said Liu Zinan, chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Asia.

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