Shanghai to Host International Cruise Festival

MSC Bellissima in Shanghai

Shanghai is set to host an International Cruise Festival for the first time as the two-week event will start in early August 2024.

The festival was recently announced by Jin Lei, Deputy Director of Shanghai’s Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau.

The event will include “captain reception parties,” as well as a traditional cruise show where potential guests can learn more about cruise vacations, as reported by Xinmin Evening News.

Shanghai also plans to replicate golf, surfing, and e-sport activities that are available on international cruise ships, as well as organize international cultural exhibitions, Lei said.

With the homeport experiencing a positive moment in the cruise industry, the festival is part of an expansion strategy, he added.

Moving forward, Shanghai plans to innovate its cruise products, enhance local itineraries and ultimately attract more passengers.

Expecting over 1.4 million guests and almost 190 turnaround calls in 2024, Shanghai is aiming to take the “next step” in the market.

The strategy includes attracting more international ships for transit calls, Lei told Xinmin Evening News.

An important part of the strategy is making good use of China’s visa policies for the cruise industry, Lei said.

Cruise passengers can take advantage of a 144-hour transit exemption and a 15-day cruise visa exemption, allowing them to arrive in Shanghai more easily.

The homeport also plans to collaborate with industry players to strengthen its position in the market and promote high-quality development of the activity.

In 2024, Shanghai welcomed back two international brands, MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.

The port also saw local operators, such as Blue Dream Cruises and Adora Cruises, expand their operations with the arrival of new ships and additional sailings.

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