Specialized port – the answer to Vietnam’s cruise tourism problem

23.05.2020
  • Specialized port – the answer to Vietnam’s cruise tourism problem
  • Cruise tourism to advance after this boost
  • Specialized port holds key to Vietnam’s cruise tourism development

 

Ha Long International Cruise Port, known as the country’s first specialized cruise port opened at the end of 2018, has become a remark in Quang Ninh’s tourism activities and a pioneer of Vietnam’s cruise tourism.

The Port has received 56,000 arrivals just in the first four months of this year, which accounts for 47 percent of all foreign visitors traveling to Vietnam by sea (119,000 arrivals).

According to a Ha Long International Cruise Port’s representative, the vessels that have docked were mainly super-luxury cruise ships coming from Hong Kong and Singapore and five-star ships from other continents such as the UK’s Columbus and Sydney’s Seven Seas Mariner. They have become a significant source of revenue for Ha Long tourism.

Inland wharf – Ha Long international passenger ship port opens a new gateway to visit Ha Long Bay

Next to the international harbor, just before the holidays of 30/4 and 1/5, Ha Long Passenger Port has opened the inland wharf – marina to welcome visitors to Heritage Bay. As part of the 1,100 billion VND Port project, the inland wharf project is designed with 4 berths, accommodating up to 300 cruise ships to visit and stay on routes to Ha Long Bay, Bai Tu Long bay and Gia Luan port (Cat Ba).

Along with the system of wharves, the port terminal designed by renowned architect Bill Bensley is considered to be a differentiating factor that helps Ha Long international passenger port to meet the standards of a tourist port, surpassing the whole system. Current port system in Vietnam.

The port terminal has a scale of 3 floors with a total area of ​​13,500 m2, accommodating up to 2,000 people, impressed by the delicate architectural blend between European and Vietnamese culture, owns a comfortable lounge system, food service area, duty free shops and souvenir shops displaying a variety of local produce ..

he new inland port at Ha Long International Cruise Port: a new gateway to Ha Long Bay

Besides, an inland port – Ha Long Passenger Terminal – was inaugurated just before the country’s Reunification Day, April 30. As a part of the VND 1.1 trillion ($47.03 million) cruise port, the inland port has four wharfs that can accommodate 300 cruise ships, allowing them to travel to and stay during their visits to Ha Long Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay and Gia Luan Harbor (in Cat Ba Island).

The terminal of the Port was designed by famous architect Bill Bensley, which helps Ha Long International Cruise Port to reach the international standards of a tourist port and to make it different from other Vietnam’s ports.

The three-floor terminal has a total area of 13,500 square meters and can accommodate up to 2,000 people. It’s an impressive mixture of Vietnamese architecture and European one. The terminal includes a convenient lounge, a food court, duty-free stores, and souvenir shops selling a full range of local products.

High-end services and facilities are offered at Ha Long International Cruise Port

With the inland port being in operation, Ha Long International Cruise Port has become the first specialized international cruise port in Vietnam that is capable of accommodating both domestic and international visitors. With impressive results achieved the past few months, it is expected to boost the number of new arrivals and help Quang Ninh province to achieve its target of 16 million tourists by 2020.

to the ambition of boosting Vietnam’s cruise tourism

Ports in Vietnam are used to receive both cargo and passenger ships. However, services such as loading, unloading, shipping, and storage always take first priority in revenues.

This problem, therefore, affects the development of cruise tourism. Tourism experts consider this as the cause of many problems that remain unsolved. For instance, in 2018, the Ovation of the Seas with 4,000 passengers and 1,600 crewmembers were unable to dock at Phu My Port in Ho Chi Minh City, while the Voyager of the Seas had to cancel its plan to Ho Chi Minh City due to the lack of dock space as a result of cargo ships fully occupying the port.

Ha Long International Cruise Port is the only specialized cruise port in Vietnam

This were just some examples provided by Dr. Ha Bich Lien, a consultant of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. in Vietnam, to explain the problem affecting cruise tourism and its consequences: a decline in the number of customers at travel agencies and the city’s substantial loss of tourism revenues.

At an international conference on cruise tourism development organized by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism at the end of 2018, experts and representatives of cruise lines said the main difficulty in Vietnam was its infrastructure, which was not up to date.

While Vietnam has been struggling, cruise tourism is a money-making business in many countries around the world. With the advantages of having a long coastline of more than 3,260 km, more than 3,000 big and small islands, and impressive natural landscapes, it is time for Vietnam to recognize the potential of cruise tourism and make adequate investment.

Cruise tourism will be promoted first through exclusive cruise ports, which creates an instant impression on visitors and becomes the first step for Vietnam to attract more super-luxury cruises from around the world.