|The luxury cruise ship Celebrity Solstice (Malta nationality) arrived at Ha Long International Cruise Port (Quang Ninh province) on November 13. (Source: baoquangninh.vn)
Since the beginning of 2023, Vietnam has welcomed many international cruise ships. Many major cruise lines in the world such as Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Resort World Cruises have promoted the exploitation of tourist routes to the Asia-Pacific region. In particular, Vietnam is considered an attractive market when welcoming many high-class international ships with up to thousands of passengers per trip.
On November 28, the ship Zhao Shang Yi Dun (Chinese nationality) arrived at Ha Long International Cruise Port (Quang Ninh), taking 721 tourists to visit Ha Long Bay and famous tourist destinations of Quang Ninh via the sea route. It is expected that from now until the end of 2023 there will be 5 Zhao Shang Yi Dun ship visits, bringing more than 4,000 guests from China to visit Ha Long Bay. If this year's cruise season ends (until March 2024), this Chinese ship will return to Ha Long 14 times, estimated to bring more than 12,000 visitors to Quang Ninh.
Even in a city that seems to not be strong in cruise tourism, Hue, luxury cruise lines such as Star Cruises Group, Skysea Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Costa Crociere, and a cruise ship named Ovation of the Seas, recently chose Chan May Port to dock. On November 12, Chan May Port, Thua Thien-Hue province, welcomed the international cruise ship Celebrity Cruises with more than 3,000 guests to visit localities in the Central region such as Thua Thien-Hue, Da Nang and Quang Nam. Chan May Port has now become a brand on the regional and world marine tourism map.
Most recently, the Spectrum of the Seas ship of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines with more than 4,000 international guests docked at Phu My Port, Ba Ria - Vung Tau province. From now until the end of 2023, this cruise line will continue to bring thousands of international tourists to Vietnam. Ms. Jessica RedFord, Director of External Affairs of Royal Caribbean, said that next year, the number of Vietnamese seaports where ships dock at will be increased to 3, instead of 2 like this year.
According to statistics from the National Tourism Administration, in the first 11 months of 2023, Vietnam's tourism industry welcomed 11.2 million international visitors, an increase of 3.8 times over the same period last year, of which visitors arriving by sea reached 87,900 arrivals, accounting for 0.8% and 102.8 times higher than the same period in 2022. International tourists coming to Vietnam by sea increased sharply in the last two months of the year, contributing to promoting the target of welcoming over 12 million international visitors to Vietnam in 2023.
It can be seen that Vietnam's cruise tourism market is showing positive signs through the increasing number of international visitors arriving by sea. Mr. Nguyen Trung Khanh, Director of the Vietnam National Tourism Administration, shared that island tourism is one of Vietnam's main tourism products. Therefore, cruise tourism has been given attention and development orientation by the Vietnamese Government. Currently, infrastructure has been invested, upgraded and modernized at many seaports such as Saigon, Nha Trang, Quy Nhon and Tien Sa ports.
According to experts, island tourism activities account for about 70% of Vietnam's tourism industry. During the remaining 3 months of 2023, the tourism industry will enter the peak season of international tourism and there is still a lot of room to exceed the growth target this year, as well as to continue to develop cruise tourism if the difficulties, limitations and barriers for cruise tourism to develop can be overcome./.