HCM City urged to build ports for cruise ships
VietNamNet Bridge - Many cruise ships want to enter HCMC but they have to dock at other localities because of the lack of harbors.


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In the past, the cruise ships capable of containing several thousand tourists could dock at Nha Rong Wharf in the central area. However, since 2009, when Phu My Bridge across the Sai Gon River was put into operation, only small ships with the capacity of fewer than 1,000 passengers can go to the central area, while bigger ships have to dock at the ports of Rau Qua, Navi Oil and Hiep Phuoc.

In recent years, as the ports are too busy receiving container ships, their major business field, there is no spare room for cruise ships. Therefore, big cruise ships have to carry passengers to Ba Ria – Vung Tau province, where travelers go by bus to HCMC.

In recent years, as the ports are too busy receiving container ships, their major business field, there is no spare room for cruise ships. Therefore, big cruise ships have to carry passengers to Ba Ria – Vung Tau province, where travelers go by bus to HCMC.

Sai Gon port is going to be relocated and it is still unclear about the ship receiving schedule.

“We have a schedule until 2020, and the Sai Gon Port still cannot confirm if it would receive ships next year,” said Chau Quoc Huan from High Seas.

A source from the HCMC Tourism Department said there are no official statistics about the number of cruise ships and travelers arriving in the city in the last few years, but it is clear that the number of tourists is on the decrease.

The report from a travel firm specializing in serving cruise tourists showed that the number of the firm’s cruise customers to HCMC in the last three years was just equal to a small proportion of the travelers to Ba Ria – Vung Tau.

In 2014, the firm received 10 cruise ships in HCMC with 11,000 passengers and the crew, while it received 14 ships with 51,750 travelers in Ba Ria – Vung Tau. 

The figures were 12,000 in HCMC and 81,900 in Ba Ria – Vung Tau in 2015 and 10,700 and 60,000, respectively, in 2016. 

If cruise ships go to Ba Ria – Vung Tau, travel firms will benefit as they can lure travelers to some destinations in the province. However, they will lose sources of revenue from their services for passengers and lose opportunities to attract more travelers, if ships can go to the central area of HCMC. 

Phan Xuan Anh, chair of Viet Excursions, said that nearly all ships entering HCMC will spend a night in the city, while if coming to Ba Ria – Vung Tau, they would leave within the day. 

When ships stay in HCMC, passengers spend more money on various services, including entertainment, drinks and food.


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Mai Chi

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