New port infrastructure could bring big ships to Vietnam

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Authorities in Vietnam’s Hue are working with groups such as Royal Caribbean to bring 25,000 tourists to the city a year via cruise ships.

The plan is to upgrade the local port, Chan May, by improving the quality of service and bring it in line with international standards.

Royal Caribbean said it was assisting with the necessary upgrades so the port can receive a Voyager-class ship.

The line didn’t reveal which ship it would be, but it could potentially be Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas because both are cruising to Australia next year.

We anticipate making periodic calls to Chan May in the winter season,” a spokesperson told ASEAN Cruising.

“From Chan May we will deliver tour excursions to the beautiful and historic cities of Hue, Hoi An, and Danang.”

According to Vietnam’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism director Phan Tien Dung this year Chan May was used as a stopover for 46 cruise liners travelling in Southeast Asia.

Eight ships larger than 91,000-tonnes visited throughout the year, including Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Millennium.

Meanwhile, big ships like Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas will soon be able to dock at Vietnam’s Phu Quoc island after it receives its first cruise terminal.

Without a port, the island has only been able to welcome ships carrying less than 1,000 passengers.

Annually, it receives on average 19 cruise ships departing from Singapore to Thailand, Vietnam and other North East Asia destinations.

During their visit, the vessels are required to anchor offshore and use smaller boats to transport their passengers to the island and back.

However, the new VND1,257 billion terminal will allow mass-market vessels carrying 5,000-6,000 passengers to dock directly as its doorsteps.

This means the world’s largest ships like Allure of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas could soon be making regular visits to the island.

Their arrival would also increase the island’s cruise passenger arrival to between 105,000 and 190,000 by 2020.