Vanuatu Expects First Cruise Ship From China In January

Vessels expected to bring up to 5,000 visitors a week

By Jonas Cullwick, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Nov. 1, 2016) – For the first time, in January next year, Vanuatu will receive its first cruise ship visit from China, says Minister of Tourism and Deputy Prime Minister, Joe Natuman.

Natuman made the revelation Sunday on Zhujiajian Island, one of 1,390 islands in the Zhoushan Archipelago of China’s Zhejiang Province when he was responding to a welcome to his delegation of 13 Members of Parliament who were taken to see the tourism development projects on the island.

“Next year, in January, for the first time Vanuatu will receive the first cruise from China that will arrive from Shanghai with 2,000 passengers,” the Vanuatu DPM said.

“Cruise ship tourism is the biggest development industry in the South Pacific islands and Vanuatu is leading the way with up to four cruise ship calls a week in Port Vila, averaging up to 5,000 tourists weekly.

“Luganville wharf when completed will also receive up to 5,000 tourists a week.”

The Deputy Prime Minister explained to his hosts that Vanuatu received cruise ships from P&O and Carnival Cruises (Australia) both Australia and America’s Royal Caribbean.

“We want more cruise ships from China and we hope that once your ports are completed we can get cruise ship coming from Zhoushan to Vanuatu.”

The hosts of the delegation, the Communist Party of China (CPC) had taken the delegation to see the sand sculptures tourist attraction marking the G20 Summit held this year in Zhejiang Province’s capitol city Hangshou and the Zhoushan Archipelago International Cruise Port development.

Zhoushan City with a population of one million, and called the ‘City of the Sea’ has a thriving marine and tourism industries and handles 18% of China’s shipping and attracts up to 34 million people per year, is located on the biggest island on the archipelago.

The point from the CPC in taking the delegation of Vanuatu MPs led by the DPM is to let them see how the Chinese people are doing some of the things Vanuatu is doing and if they could replicate some of the ideas to help Vanuatu.

In the brief discussions after the Vanuatu DPM and his delegation visited the tourist sites and the Zhoushan Archipelago International Cruise Port and heard about its developments, Natuman described Vanuatu’s situation of sharing the capitol’s main wharf between cruise ships and cargo boats.

However, he said now a 350 metre long wharf was being construction with Chinese assistance in Luganville, Santo, that will assist with cruise ship travel.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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