For the first time since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, international cruise ships will once again be allowed to enter Chinese ports. China’s Ministry of Transport has issued a permit for international cruise ships to enter and leave Chinese ports. After a successful try-out in Shanghai and Shenzhen to put the efficacy of health and safety protocols in preventing the spread of Covid-19, both between tourists and crew members, to the test, other Chinese ports will now be allowed to follow that example.
China’s Ministry of Transport announced a full resumption of international #cruise voyages in the country on Sept 19, after the successful pilot program that reintroduced international cruise operations in #Shanghai and #Shenzhen, Guangdong province. pic.twitter.com/Z5OpQim7Yr— Discover GuangZhou (@Discover_GZ) September 22, 2023
Until now, international cruise ships have been considered a great threat to health safety, as people from different countries are living together in a restrained living space. Therefore, the Ministry saw it as essential to first be able to control the safety measures aboard and in the ports before opening up those ports once again to international cruise ships.
However, not everything is back to normal just yet as local transport authorities at the designated cruise ship ports will have to come up with personalised comprehensive plans to be able to resume their activities. Once those plans have been handed over, it will be up to the local governments to decide whether or not they respond to the guidelines and whether or not cruise ship transportation will be able to resume. Only if their response is positive, cruise transportation will start up again.
In its statement, the Ministry of Transport also underlined the importance of efficient management within the cruise market. Not only the (health) safety aspect will therefore be controlled but also the sustainability aspect, with further clarification on the latter to be announced at a later date.
Thhe effects of China’s Ministry of Transport’s announcement will be great, both for the Chinese tourism industry as well as for the global cruise transportation sector. For example, MSC Cruises have already announced they will be entering the Chinese market as of next year.