Xiamen’s Cruise Business Poised for Strong Recovery


With the cruise industry in Asia rebounding, China’s Xiamen port is reporting a strong recovery in the number of passengers and ships.

According to Zhong Hailin, deputy director of Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism, Xiamen Port is intensifying its efforts to attract more cruise business.

As a result, several vessels are set to offer itineraries departing from the homeport, he told Cruise Industry News.

The schedule includes Adora Cruises’ Mediterranea, as well as MSC Cruises’ MSC Splendida and China Merchants Viking Cruises’ Zhao Shang Yi Dun.

The first is one of the highlights of this year’s program, with a total of 32 cruises set to depart from Xiamen through December.

While four cruises aboard the Mediterranea have already sailed from the port in 2024, 28 more are still scheduled to take place before the end of the year.

Just in the first half of 2024, the vessel is expected to transport over 65,000 guests in and out of Xiamen, Hailin said.

The port is also expecting a considerable number of transit calls from international vessels such as Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa, he added.

“The annual international cruise voyages are projected to exceed 30 times with an estimated service for inbound and outbound tourists surpassing 120,000. The recovery of Xiamen’s cruise industry is progressing rapidly,” he added.

In recent years, Xiamen Port has also been investing in the construction of supporting facilities for homeporting operations, he said.

The developments are based on connecting the ships, the port, and the city, Hailin explained, and aim to transform the cruise homeport into a tourist destination.

“The Xiamen Sea World project, with the cruise port as its core, covers a total area of 163,000 square meters, with a total construction area exceeding one million square meters,” he highlighted, noting that the venue is currently the largest urban complex in Xiamen featuring not only a cruise terminal but also office spaces, themed commerce, entertainment venues, and hotel complexes.

The port is now investing in developing the Phase II Terminal at Xiamen International Cruise Homeport, which is expected to be operational by September 2024 and will add a new 68,000-square-meter, eight-floor facility.

“Breaking away from traditional single transportation building concepts, our new terminal integrates a three-floor coastal exhibition hall and high-end catering options with the coastal businesses at Xiamen Sea World,” he added.

While keeping an optimistic attitude towards the future of the cruise market, Hailin anticipates that even more brands and ships are set to sail to Xiamen in the next five years.

“We firmly believe that with the return of international cruise companies to China and the commencement of new routes, both the number of cruise ships and passengers will soon surpass the levels seen in 2019.”

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