Tianjin is the third largest Chinese city, the biggest coastal city in the north and the second largest port in China. For the first time TICT (Tianjin International Cruise Terminal) will extend its cruise season to the end of 2015.
Zhengdong Zhang, TICT General Manager, said they were expecting over 100 port calls and more than 400,000 vacationers in 2015. Compared to last year, those figures represented more than a 70% increase.
The 100 ports of call include 40 from Costa Atlantica, which will be homeported at Tianjin until December 2015. In addition to the usual Japan, Taiwan and Korea itineraries, TICT will explore cruise routes in Russia.
The port of Tianjin is also implementing the so called “independent cruise traveler clearance system”. When a travel agent previously had many passengers in a group and one was late, everyone had to wait for him/her before clearing the port. With the new system, cruise passengers can board the ship as they arrive.
Tianjin port is striving for special status in a number of areas, including 72-hour visa-free status for foreign vacationers coming off cruise ships, applying for a license for cruises to nowhere and expanding duty free privileges.