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Int’l cruise ships return to Vietnam post pandemic

By Minh Duy

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HCMC – Many cruise ships have begun carrying foreign passengers to Vietnam, particularly during the Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet, signaling the recovery of international tourism after more than two years of declining due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The number of ships arriving in Vietnam in the first quarter of 2023 is expected to be comparable to that of 2019.

The Mein Schiff 5, sailing under the flag of Malta, docked at the Cai Mep-Thi Vai Port in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau on January 26.

It transported 2,370 passengers, mostly Germans, on the Singapore-Malaysia-Vietnam-Thailand route. Some 1,800 arrivals took day excursions to HCMC, and Bia Ria-Vung Tau and Tien Giang provinces.

The ship has visited Vietnam four times since December 2022.

HCMC-based travel agency Viet Excursions also welcomed the Silver Spirit, operated by Silversea Cruises, to the city’s Hiep Phuoc Port on January 25.

It previously made stops in Quang Ninh Province and the central city of Danang.

According to the chairman of Viet Excursions, Phan Xuan Anh, the firm serviced two ships per week during the first three months of this year.

Saigontourist Travel, the tourism services arm of Saigontourist Group, expects to accommodate several ships in March to HCMC and other destinations across the country, including Halong, Hue, Danang and Nha Trang.

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