Vietnam opens doors to luxury international tourists via cruise ships

During the month of March, Vietnam warmly embraces numerous VIP international visitors who arrive by cruise ship. These esteemed travelers have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage and vibrant tourism offerings of various cities such as Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau.


On March 2, the Azamara Journey cruise ship arrived at Saigon Port (Ho Chi Minh City), carrying over 700 guests from Europe, America, and Australia. The group is expected to visit Ho Chi Minh City for 4 days (from March 2 – 5) and then move to Tien Sa Port (Da Nang).

The Azamara Journey cruise ship (owned by Azamara Cruises) arrived at Saigon Port on the morning of March 2. Photo: Baotintuc

From March 19 – 20, Vietnam will welcome the Resort World One cruise ship to Nha Trang – Da Nang, and the Silver Shadow cruise ship to Ho Chi Minh City – Hue. This marks the end of the exciting 2023 – 2024 cruise peak season, which lasted from November 2023 to March 2024.

A representative from Saigontourist Travel Company stated that in the first 2 months of 2024, the company successfully served over 10 cruise ships, carrying more than 30,000 international visitors to Vietnam. This represents a 15% increase compared to the same period in 2023. The number of cruise passengers is expected to further increase by 10-15% in 2024 compared to 2023.

In Vietnam, tourists prefer long-term cruises that span multiple ports such as Ha Long, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Ho Chi Minh City. After docking, international tourist groups have the option to choose different sightseeing itineraries.

International tourists visiting Ho Chi Minh City are served by Vietnam’s travel companies. Photo: Baotintuc

Specifically, if the ship docks at Ba Ria – Vung Tau, tourists can choose to visit the coastal city of Vung Tau or explore the Western region of the river by going to My Tho (Tien Giang) and also experience Ho Chi Minh City.

In Ho Chi Minh City, visitors can learn about the city’s history, experience the local coffee culture, and enjoy the sunset on the Saigon River.

In Nha Trang, visitors have the opportunity to visit cultural and historical landmarks, relax on the beaches, and explore the lives of the local people by cycling around the city.

In Hue, visitors will explore famous landmarks in the Ancient Capital, such as the Imperial Citadel, pagodas, Hue garden houses, Thuy Bieu ancient village, and savor the local culinary delights.

Representatives of Ho Chi Minh City travel companies mentioned that the international cruise tourism segment is experiencing rapid recovery and growth in the 2023 – 2024 cruise tourism season. This positive result is attributed to efforts in adjusting tourist visa policies, improving infrastructure, and developing new accommodation and sightseeing spots that meet international standards, ensuring a memorable experience for tourists in each locality.

Meanwhile, travel agencies continue to enhance the quality of services and operations to retain international cruise passengers with unique and professional tourism products. It is expected that the international shipping peak season for 2024 – 2025 will be exciting once again towards the end of 2024.

Tourists cycling around Nha Trang city on a tour of Vietnam. Photo: Baotintuc

According to data from the National Tourism Administration, in February 2024 alone, Vietnam welcomed over 1.53 million international visitors, with a total of more than 3 million visitors in the first two months of the year.

The vibrant tourism activities and the positive results in welcoming international visitors in the first 2 months of 2024 demonstrate the remarkable recovery of Vietnam’s tourism industry. The direction and guidance of the National Tourism Administration in preparing activities to attract tourists during the Lunar New Year have had a significant impact.

The National Tourism Administration also highlighted the effectiveness of the visa policy implemented since August 15, 2023, which extended the temporary stay period from 15 days to 45 days for countries with unilateral visa exemptions and allowed visa issuance for all countries with a temporary residence period of up to 90 days. These developments bode well for Vietnam’s tourism industry at the beginning of 2024 and lay the foundation for achieving the goal of welcoming 18 million international visitors this year.

Charlotte Pho