The country’s leading tour operator Saigontourist has already welcomed 4 five-star cruise ships since January 1, carrying more than 6,900 passengers to Vietnam.
The travel agency is scheduled to receive another 41 five-star cruise ships operated by Star Cruises to Vietnam, which will bring over 70,000 passengers to Ha Long, Danang, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City.
The event is under a new cooperation programme signed between Saigontourist and Star Cruises, marking an important development in the long-term relationship between the two enterprises since 1996.
Over 2012, Saigontourist welcomed 96 cruise ships, delivering 170,000 visitors to the country.
On January 7, five-star liner Costa Victoria, under Costa Crociere S.p.A, arrived in Ho Chi Minh City with 2,400 passengers and crew members on board mainly from Italy, Spain and the UK.
Two days later, it went on to Danang, where passengers made a tour of Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountains), the Cham sculpture museum, Linh Ung pagoda and Han market.
On January 9 more than 200 tourists from the US, Australia and Canada set foot in Danang on the My Aegean Odyssey cruise ship, visiting key sightseeing spots in the central region.
January is considered a peak time for Danang to receive cruise ships, as the present schedule affirms. Sixteen cruise ships are planned to dock at Tien Sa port alone, carrying about 15,000 foreign arrivals.
According to Danang’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, there will be 48 cruise ships arriving in Danang with 45,000 passengers over the first quarter of 2013, up 32.7 percent on the same period last year.