Tokyo City (Japan) is facing a severe shortage of accommodation when Olympic fans pour into the capital of Japan for next year's Games so officials are now looking offshore to moored cruise liners operating as floating hotels.
According to researchers, despite the construction boom, Tokyo could be short of ~14,000 rooms given an expected surge of Olympics-related tourism. Local officials think that one solution could be to put tourists up in giant vessels temporarily docked off Port Tokyo and in the nearby Port Yokohama during the Olympics.
Among those on board with the idea is the largest travel agency JTB in Japan, which chartered the 1011-cabin Sun Princess for the games' period, complete with everything from a theatre to jacuzzis. The agency is currently offering packages which combine staterooms with Olympic event tickets, but they do not come cheap. Two nights in a balcony room combined with tickets to an Olympic football match run 200,000 yen (US$1,850), while 2 nights in a suite combined with baseball tickets go for 724,000 yen (US$6,700).
Elsewhere, plans have been negotiated for MS Explorer Dream to dock in Kawasaki (western Tokyo Bay). However, experts warn that a few cruise ships may not be enough. According to Tokyo officials, the ships are a novel accommodation solution. They are also planning to open a new cruise terminal days before the Games begin.