In 2023, Ha Long International Port in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh welcomed 60 international cruise ships with around 80,000 passengers, according to the provincial Department of Tourism.
Among the renowned cruise liners were Mein Schiff 6 & 5, Celebrity Solstice, Noordam, MSC Spendida, and Westerdam.
As the year came to an end, the Portuguese-flagged cruise liner Vasco Da Gama with 650 German tourists and the Maltese cruise ship Celebrity Solstice with 3,000 European and American passengers made port calls in Ha Long city to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
In addition, the cruise ships Zhao Shang Yi Dun from China and Westerdam from the Netherlands brought nearly 2,200 Chinese, European, and American visitors to Ha Long city on January 4.
|Cruise tourism has been on a good recovery. Photo: VNA
This indicates the post-pandemic recovery of the cruise tourism sector.
The cruise tourism season in Quang Ninh typically begins in October and ends in April. In the last three months of 2023, the province welcomed 23 cruise liners with 23,000 tourists.
For January alone, 13 cruise ships with nearly 20,000 foreign passengers have registered to dock at Ha Long as a port of call, including the Celebrity Solstice making its eighth visit to Ha Long since October and the Zhao Shang Yi Dun making its eighth visit since November 2023.
These international cruise liners will contribute to the diversification of tourist resources in Quang Ninh province and Vietnam as a whole, particularly during the low travel season.
Nguyen Huyen Anh, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Tourism, stated that the office has been collaborating with others to facilitate immigration procedures and provide the best services to foreign visitors.
In order to attract more cruise tourists, Quang Ninh is planning to introduce new products, such as an exhibition space highlighting the culture of the Dao Thanh Y ethnic minority group in Uong Bi city, the Ha Long City Tour, and a tour to discover coal mining sites.
Furthermore, the department has urged relevant organizations to focus on the development of tourism infrastructure, expand their market, introduce local immigration policies, and offer new attractions to extend visitors’ stay and boost their spending.
Thanks to its natural advantages for marine tourism, Quang Ninh boasts a coastline of over 250 kilometers and more than 2,000 islands, which account for two-thirds of the total islands in Vietnam.
Notably, Ha Long Bay, also known as “the bay of descending dragons,” has been recognized as a world natural heritage site by UNESCO twice, in 1994 for its exceptional aesthetic value and in 2000 for its geological and geomorphological significance.
Quang Ninh aims to transform tourism into a spearhead and sustainable economic sector, with a target of attracting at least 25.5 – 26 million visitors by 2030, including about 8.6 – 9 million foreigners.
The province is targeting between 16 million and 17.5 million tourist arrivals by 2024 and 2025, with at least 3 million and 4.5 million international guests, respectively.