Shanghai sets sail as cruise liner mecca


(TVLW) – The Grand Hall at Shanghai International Cruise Terminal will open as early as April to offer faster Customs services to tourists as the city steams ahead in the passenger liner industry.

The city has enjoyed rapid development of its passenger liner economy over the past three years with advances in port construction, port immigration police said.

More than 100 international cruise ships would stop by Shanghai this year.

And the magnificent cruiser Costa Allegra, owned by Carnival Corp, will return to her mother port and take 50,000 tourists to and from the city 50 times this year. The ship also stops by Japan and South Korea.

The local port had offered moorings for 92 passenger liners last year and nearly 135,000 Chinese and foreign tourists had arrived and left Shanghai riding the ships. The numbers soared by 63 percent from a year earlier, said Lu Congbing, an officer and media coordinator with the port immigration police.

“The city has a booming passenger liner industry,” Lu said. “Back in 2004, only 10 cruise ships anchored by the city, which meant a passenger turnover of fewer than 30,000.

“The record improved to 57 ships and more than 80,000 people in 2006.”

The 130,000-square-meter Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal has been undergoing construction improvements since it opened for passenger liner mooring in early July, 2006.