Nansha International Cruise Home Port, an international cruise home port, is expected to commence operations in Nansha of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, in November this year, according to sources with the port development company.
The port, which will be one of the biggest of its kind, is spread over an area of 760,000 sq m, and will offer four berths with 1.6 km of shoreline. It can accommodate cruise ships up to 225,000 metric tons.
When operational, the port will be able to handle 750,000 to 1 million trips of inbound and outbound tourists a year, according to its developer Guangzhou CCCC Cruise Home Port Investment Development Co Ltd. The developer is a fully-owned unit of CCCC Urban Investment Holding Co Ltd, which is a part of China Communications Construction Co Ltd, a Fortune 500 company.
"The port will be able to host the world's largest existing cruise, helping to promote social and economic cooperation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area," said Zheng Yifeng, an operations manager with the Guangzhou CCCC Cruise Home Port Investment Development Co.
The Nansha international home port will build two cruise berths with capacity of 100,000 tons and 225,000 tons in the first stage, making it one of the top 10 cruise ports in the world.
Nansha, in the southernmost part of Guangzhou, began developing the cruise industry as one of its leading industries in 2016.
During the past three years, Nansha handled more than 1.21 million trips of inbound and outbound cruise tourists, said Hong Mini, director of the Nansha Culture, Radio and Television, Press and Publication Bureau, which is also in charge of the district's tourism and sports affairs.
Nine cruise lines are already present in Nansha, and they operate to 12 destinations including Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines, according to Hong.
"Under the development plan outline for the Greater Bay Area, Nansha will utilize its locational advantages to develop into a pilot area for better living, working and traveling," he said.
Cruise industries in the Greater Bay Area, mostly in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong developed at a fast pace in recent years, with inbound and outbound trips reaching 481,200, 364,600 and 1.73 million in the three cities respectively, according to sources from the Nansha district government.
A series of preferential policies was introduced early this year to support the district's cruise industry development, according to Hong.
"For example, new cruise lines departing from the Nansha home port will be given 1 million yuan ($149,500) as incentives," he said.
Christine Li, senior vice-president of Genting Cruise Line, a cruise operator based in Hong Kong, said the company would expand its business in Nansha by bringing more diversified onboard services in its existing lines departing from the Nansha port.