The US-based cruise line Royal Caribbean International has invested US$5 million to upgrade a major port in central Vietnam to bring more cruisers to the country.
John Tercek, vice president of commercial development at RCI, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper in an interview that Vietnam has become an attractive destination for cruise ship tourists and more investment is necessary.
He said when its new 5-star ship Quantum of the Seas carrying more than 4,500 tourists berthed in Vung Tau last month, more than 2,000 of them signed up for a one-day tour around Vung Tau and the neighboring Ho Chi Minh City.
That interest prompted the company to upgrade Chan May Port in Thua Thien-Hue Province.
Work is scheduled to finish by the end of this month to make it ready for cruise ships of more than 360 meters long like the Quantum of the Seas, which is currently the second largest cruise ship in the world and one of the most luxurious.
He said the company expects to invest in more ports after this, and Nha Trang is possibly the next one.
The company is also interested in Phu Quoc, which Tercek said has received a lot of praises from his colleagues.
He said that while improving its infrastructure, Vietnam also needs to promote itself as a cruise ship destination to attract tourists with deep pockets.
He said that many cruisers have known about Brazil, Russia, Thailand and Singapore but they are not very sure what to do when stopping by Vietnam.