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New Chinese cruise liner to set sail for Taiwan
China's first wholly-owned and independently operated cruise ship, the Chinese Taishan, is set to embark on its maiden voyage to Taichung later in the month, as more mainland tourists visit Taiwan on cruises, reports our Chinese-language sister paper China Times. The Chinese Taishan will dock at Taichung on April 25 on the first of its eight cruise tours to Taiwan this year and then head to Kaohsiung before returning to Zhoushan in east China's Zhejiang province, Taiwan International Ports' Taichung branch said. From May 9, the ports of call for the ship will include all four major ports of Taiwan — Taichung, Kaohsiung, Keelung and Hualien, the first time a foreign cruise ship has done so, the port operator in Taichung added. The four-port cruise trip, which takes six days and five nights, is priced between 3,000 to 5,000 yuan (US$480-$805) per person, and is especially attractive to mainland tourists, since they can visit as many places as possible this way. The cruise ship is operated by Hong Kong-based Bohai Cruise, which acquired the vessel from Carnival last year.
Chinese Taishan Only First Step for Bohai in Cruise
Acquiring the Costa Voyager was Bohai Ferry’s first step into the cruise business, renaming her Chinese Taishan and finding a unique deployment by sailing out of Yantai. Li Zhan, general manager of Bohai Ferry, said the goal was to revive the Chinese dream and build a brand. The Chinese Taishan is only the first step in Bohai’s entry into the cruise industry. Its purpose is to test and develop the market, gain experience for the future in regards to all aspects of cruise ship operations, said Zhan, who talked to Cruise Industry News in Tianjin this past October. Are there already plans to buy more ships? “We do not expect to make a profit from this ship, as it is more about learning,” said Zhan. “If we are to buy larger scale ships for Bohai to manage now, it’d be difficult. We cannot be complacent. The existing foreign players have a higher sophistication of ship and human resources management that we cannot match now.” Therefore, Zhan explained they expect to run their single vessel for a year before looking at more tonnage. For this purpose, the company is mixing it up with interesting deployment options such as Yantai in northern China, and trying out Shanghai in both the summer and winter, and offering varying itineraries sailing to Korea, Japan and Taiwan. http://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/12012-chinese-taishan-only-first-step-for-bohai-in-cruise.html
Bohai To Launch Cruise Operations in China on August 26
On August 26 the Chinese Taishan will mark its inaugural voyage for Bohai Ferry – and its entry into the cruise market. The voyage will be from Yantai in Shandong (China) to Seoul and Jeju Island, with the ex-Costa Voyager flying the Bermuda flag off the stern. Yantai is the birthplace of China’s modern wine industry and is the ship’s turnaround point through the fall. To begin with, the line is offering five-day sailings, mixed with a three-day voyage just calling in Seoul. “We were ready earlier but the first departure is delayed to late August due to issues at the port,” said Bohai Secretary (boss) Wu Ning. “The port needed to get ready with the supporting facilities and customs clearance." The ship marks a significant milestone in the Chinese cruise market: a Chinese-owned and operated ship (HNA’s operations are run by Star Cruises) with decision making entirely localized.Upload News