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Star Cruises to return to Halong after three-year hiatus

The SuperStar Aquarius ship of the Star Cruises Hong Kong Limited will come back to Quang Ninh Province’s Halong City on April 3, nearly three years after the cruise line suspended Halong’s calls.

According to the local service provider of the ship, Saigontourist Travel Service Co., the ship will bring around 2, 200 crew members and passengers to Halong, which is known for the UNESCO World Heritage-listed bay of the same name.

The passengers, mostly from China and Hong Kong, will tour the bay that features thousands of limestone karsts and isles, shop at the Halong market, and drop by some other attractions in the city. The ship will leave the bay for Hong Kong in the evening the same day.

Le Quang Thang, Manager of Saigontourist’s Shorex & Port Agency Department, said he expected the cruise line to arrange regular trips to the city after the SuperStar Aquarius visit. “The Star Cruises will come to the bay every month if things are fine.”

Before December 2007, the Star Cruises did not include Halong in its ships’ Vietnam tour programs for three years and repeated its exclusion of the city in July 2008. From late 2007 to mid-2008, the company brought 1, 000 to 2, 200 foreign passengers to the bay a week.

The Star Cruises ships made only two trips to the country last year but Halong was not on their itinerary.

Saigontourist has estimated that it will receive around 20, 000 international cruise passengers in the first quarter of this year, up 8% year-on-year.
(Source: SGT)


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