Come on let's cruise
Updated: 2012-10-03 11:01
By Lin Jing and Li Xiang (China Daily)
Star Cruises has about 1 million customers in the Asia Pacific, 10 percent of which come from the Chinese mainland.
"We understand that Chinese guests have very specific requirements about food, so we have prepared various cuisines for them, such as Sichuan, Shanghai and Guangdong cuisine," Wu says. "We also have karaoke, which is their favorite."
He says that the company has an iconic service called "freestyle cruising", which means guests can eat whenever and wherever they want. Pop stars from Hong Kong and Taiwan are often invited to give live shows on board.
From April to October 2013, Star Cruises' SuperStar Gemini, a 50,764-ton vessel, will commence its home-port deployment in Shanghai. After refurbishment, the vessel will offer cruises to more than 30 popular destinations including Cheju, Busan and Keelung.
Wu says that some special chartered cross-strait itineraries from Shanghai to Taiwan are in the pipeline, subject to approval by the authorities.
Though he shares the rising enthusiasm from the market, Zheng Weihang, secretary-general of the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association, says Chinese consumers need to understand cruise culture before boarding.
"Cruises have their own culture, which is quite different from traveling by boat. However, some Chinese passengers still lack the necessary background before boarding," he says.
Zheng says that on the first day of the cruise, there will be a Captain's Dinner, one of the formal nights on board. Men are required to wear tuxedos and women should wear evening dress or qipao.
Huang from MSC says that the cruise is an imported concept from Europe and Chinese consumers should adapt to cruise culture so they can enjoy it.
She says passengers should understand their itinerary and prepare in advance to avoid delays or inappropriate attire, and adds that customers can get tips, advice and information from travel agencies and cruise-company hotlines.
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