Vietnam’s new and exclusive Ha Long International Passenger Port welcomed its first visitors to Ha Long Bay recently when the five-star Celebrity Millennium cruise ship from Hong Kong docked at the port, bringing 2,000 visitors and almost 1,000 sailors to northern Quang Ninh Province.
Nguyen Duc Long, Chairman of Quang Ninh, hailed the port as an important milestone in the development of tourism in the province, allowing visitors to go straight on to land without having to use smaller boats to transfer. Nguyen said that authorities from Quang Ninh are working to create favorable conditions for international ships to dock and depart the port so that there will be more visitors to Ha Long Bay.
Ha Long International Passenger Port is operated by the Sun Group, one of the largest real estate developers in Vietnam Its main activities are the development of holiday resorts, attraction parks and luxury real estate and was founded by four Vietnamese partners.
The new port is the first of its kind in Vietnam and is considered state-of-the-art. The port has been developed by Sun Group at a cost of $42.6 million USD under a public-private partnership arrangement. The harbour has been developed to receive the world’s largest cruise ships.
The passenger area is 130 meters long and with the three-floor, 13,500 square meter terminal, can welcome two ships simultaneously and process more than 10,000 passengers and crew. The total number of tourists to Quang Ninh this year is estimated to reach 12.2 million, 5.2 million of them foreigners, according to the province’s tourism department.
In the first 10 months this year, over 200,000 people came to Vietnam on ships but this is 2.3% lower year-on-year than 2017. The port is expected to welcome 10 international ships, with 20,000 passengers this year and expects the majority of the 100 cruise ships that visit Ha Long Bay each year to use the new port in the future, reversing the 2017 figures.