SHANGHAI, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Royal Caribbean has become the first international cruise giant to announce its return to the Chinese mainland market after the pandemic.
Royal Caribbean International on Monday said its super-sized luxury cruise ship Spectrum of the Seas will resume cruises in Shanghai in April 2024.
During the May Day holiday next year, the cruise liner will leave Shanghai to travel to popular tourist destinations in Japan, including Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Kobe and Fukuoka.
The U.S. cruise liner said it will launch route inquiry and booking services in July.
Wu Huimin, the Chinese rotating captain of Spectrum of the Seas, said that about 1,600 crew members from more than 70 countries are looking forward to returning to China and serving Chinese and foreign tourists.
Spectrum of the Seas, which cost Royal Caribbean 1.25 billion U.S. dollars to build, is 348 meters long and 41 meters wide and can accommodate 5,064 guests across 2,124 rooms.
Royal Caribbean's move came after the Chinese Ministry of Transport announced a plan to resume international cruise transport in pilot programs in Shanghai and Shenzhen on March 30.
China has seen a tourism rebound this year following the lifting of its COVID-19 restrictions. During the five-day May Day holiday that began on April 29, Chinese people took 274 million domestic trips, soaring 70.83 percent from the same holiday the year before and 19.09 percent from the same holiday in 2019, before the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.