Vietnam’s ports are anticipating a total of 493 visits by cruises ships from all cruise lines in 2018, an increase of over 20 per cent compared with 2017’s 407, according to premium cruise line Princess Cruises.
The increase has propelled Vietnam into the fourth most-visited country in Asia by cruise ships. In terms of popularity, Chan May is the most visited port in the country, with 159 calls in 2018, followed by Phu My (139), Cai Lan (111) and Nha Trang (72).
With its long coastline, stunning beaches, and enchanting local culture, Vietnam is an attractive cruise destination with huge potential and seeing increasing interest among overseas cruise tourists who want to visit by sea. Its port infrastructure is developing rapidly to meet the growing demand and accommodate larger cruise ships, allowing more cruise lines to include Vietnamese ports in their itineraries.
Princess Cruises will bring in more than 80,000 international tourists to Vietnam this year, with six ships visiting Phu My, Nha Trang, Da Nang and Cai Lan. The increasing demand for inbound cruise travel to Vietnam is set to contribute towards the growth of the local economy through passenger spending on sightseeing, shopping, and food, and the cruise lines’ re-stocking of ship provisions.
Rising demand for outbound cruises
Asia has become the world’s fastest growing cruise market, with more than 4 million Asian people taking a cruise holiday in 2017. In 2018, more than 4.26 million Asian passengers are expected to take a cruise.
“The number of Vietnamese who took a cruise in 2017 was 5,900,” said Mr. Farriek Tawfik, Director Southeast Asia at Princess Cruises. “Cruisers from Vietnam comprise only 0.2 per cent of the 4 million people in Asia who took a cruise in 2017, which highlights the huge potential within the Vietnamese market. These numbers are expected to grow in the coming years as more and more Vietnamese go cruising due to the rise of the middle class.”
“Princess Cruises is well-positioned to meet increasing demand among Vietnamese passengers opting for luxury cruise travel to destinations such as Alaska, Europe and the Mediterranean, as well for those opting for sailings in Southeast Asia, which are closer to Vietnam.” In response to this demand, Princess Cruises is launching its global portfolio of sailings, with new 2018/2019 itineraries to Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe and the Mediterranean, and Japan, as well as Southeast Asia, in Vietnam this week.
Princess Cruises’ 17 ships sail to 360 destinations across the globe and offers luxurious accommodation, world-class dining, and onboard entertainment that appeals to a growing number of Vietnamese seeking a luxurious cruise experience that offers lifetime memories.
Trends in local cruise market in 2017
According to the Cruise Line International Association, 32 per cent of Vietnamese cruisers are aged from 20 to 39 years, marking a rise in the number of millennials opting for cruises. About 38 per cent are aged 40 to 59, while 13 per cent are aged less than 19. This also shows an increase in multi-generational travel, where the whole family, from grandchildren to grandparents, go on a cruise.
On average, Vietnamese travelers take cruises lasting for four days. About 64 per cent of Vietnamese cruisers went on cruises that lasted four to six days and 26 per cent opted for three-day cruises. The remaining 8 per cent chose seven to 13-day cruises. Nearly 80 per cent of Vietnamese cruisers sailed within Asia.