Two luxury cruise ships stopped briefly in Vietnam on Sunday, allowing more than 4,500 wealthy international passengers to tour the country’s iconic Ha Long Bay, attractions in Ho Chi Minh City and a coastal province.
Voyager of the Seas, carrying more than 3,000 international passengers, docked at the Tan Cang – Cai Mep seaport in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau early yesterday, after two days of cruising from Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
In the provincial capital city of Vung Tau, the passengers visited famous attractions including the statue of Jesus Christ on Nho Mountain, the Niet Ban Buddhist Monastery, Thang Tam Temple, and the Villa Blanche presidential retreat.
The visitors then experienced a normal day in Ba Ria, toured the city’s ancient houses and watched local artisans make rice paper or alcohol.
They also visited places of interest in Ho Chi Minh City including Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, the Saigon Central Post Office, Ho Chi Minh City Hall, the Reunification Palace, and the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
The Voyager of the Seas left Tan Cang – Cai Mep at 9:30 pm the same day for Bangkok, Thailand.
The cruise ship is slated to arrive in Singapore on Friday to finish its “9 Night Asia Repositioning Cruise” tour, which travels from Hong Kong, China to Singapore from October 8 to 17, according to a schedule posted on The Cruise Web.
The Voyager of the Seas cruise ship is seen at the Tan Cang – Cai Mep seaport in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, located in southern Vietnam, on October 12, 2014.
Also on Sunday, 1,500 passengers aboard the SuperStar Virgo explored Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the northern province of Quang Ninh, according to Ha Noi Moi (New Hanoi) newspaper.
They also studied the normal routines of local people, enjoyed Vietnamese food, shopped at Bai Chay night market, and watched a traditional art performance show in Ha Long City – the provincial capital.
The SuperStar Virgo left the northern city at 9:30 pm the same day for Hong Kong to finish its three-day trip.
The Voyager of the Seas is a Voyager-class cruise ship, completed in 1999, operated by Royal Caribbean International, a cruise line company founded in Norway and based in Miami, Florida.
The cruise ship is capable of carrying 3,138 passengers and 1,181 crew members, and is designed as a floating five-star hotel with such amenities as restaurants, bars, a cinema, and a swimming pool.
As of May 2012, Royal Caribbean International controlled a 17 percent share of the world cruise market with 21 ships in service, according to Cruise Market Watch.
The SuperStar Virgo is a Leo-class cruise ship owned and operated by Star Cruises, a Hong Kong-based cruise line which currently operates 19 luxury cruise ships.
The 13-storey high SuperStar Virgo is equipped with 935 cabins, a full range of facilities, including restaurants and bars offering various cuisines and beverages, and is capable of carrying 2,800 passengers together with 1,300 crew members.