Photo: Jing Daily
International cruise lines looking to tap demand for all-inclusive vacations among China’s growing ranks of outbound tourists are set to face new domestic competition from China’s first home-made luxury liner.Boasting a traveller capacity of 1,965, the Henna has 739 guest rooms, including nine suites, 432 ocean-view staterooms and 298 interior cabins, as well as the usual amenities, such as a casino, spa, recreational area and swimming pool.
Launched this weekend at Sanya Phoenix Island International Port, the “Henna” was christened by Miss Asia 2009, Xu Ying, and officials from the National Tourism Administration of China, the Hainan Tourism Bureau, and the cruise management department of HNA Tourism Co.
Though the outbound cruise market in China is in its infancy, with the industry mostly concentrated on domestic river tours, home-grown players have aimed at expanding into more international destinations. Though the Henna is a big first step, China’s luxury liner hopefuls have a long way to go, in terms of size and scope. Though China’s largest liner to date, the Henna is dwarfed by global ships like Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas (maximum guest capacity 6,296) and Norwegian’s Norwegian Epic (5,183).
From January to April, the Henna will run along three routes: Halong Bay to Sanya, Hainan; Sanya to Da Nang; and Sanya to Halong Bay to Da Nang. Starting in May, the ship’s home port will switch to Tianjin, whereupon it will start new routes that include Incheon and Jeju Island, South Korea.
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