Diamond Princess starts regular calls to Vietnam

The luxury ship Diamond Princess of the U.S.-based Princess Cruises on Thursday brought around 2,600 cruise passengers to Vietnam as part of its regular voyages across the world announced last month, said the local travel partner.

Phan Xuan Anh, chairman of Viet Excursions that caters to the cruise ship, said that the Diamond Princess made a port call in the coastal city of Nha Trang before cruising to Phu My Port in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

From Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, the passengers will make tours of HCMC and the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, Anh told the Daily on Wednesday.

As scheduled, the Diamond Princess will have four trips to the country this year. In the next trip, she will be back to Phu My on April 25, and then cruise to Nha Trang.

Last month, the Princess Cruises announced its full 2012-2013 cruise tour program, which would also take in Nha Trang and Phu My in Vietnam alongside other destinations in Southeast Asia, India and Africa.

Anh said Viet Excursions is arranging many trips for big foreign cruise ships in the country. This February, the Queen Marry II with 2,500 passengers on board also visited Nha Trang.

In addition, the company is serving the Silver Shadow in the northern city of Haiphong, and will welcome the Le Diamant ship on Thursday in HCMC. One more ship, the Ocean Princess, will arrive on April 22 with around 800 tourists on board.

In related news, Saigontourist Travel Service Co. on April 26 will receive the Costa Classica ship with around 2,000 cruise passengers and crew members on board which will visit HCMC, Danang and Halong.

In the northern province of Quang Ninh, the sea route linking its capital city of Halong City and Fangchenggang of China’s Guangxi province has been re-opened after a long time of suspension with the first on Tuesday. Two Chinese companies and the Hon Gai Tourism Services of Vietnam will develop the route with three cruise trips per week.

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