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World's largest cruise ship to make debut in 2018

Posted on Mar 17, 2017 xinhua

The world's largest cruise ship will depart on its maiden voyage in April 2018 in the Mediterranean, according to a Chinese subsidiary of the world's leading cruise line Royal Caribbean International on Thursday.

Construction of the 16-deck vessel," Symphony of the Seas," will be finished by the end of 2017.

The cruise ship, 362 meters long and 65.7 meters wide, will weigh 230,000 tonnes, five times the tonnage of the Titanic and eclipsing its three record-size sisters by 3,000 tonnes.

It will have 2,775 rooms and will accommodate a record 6,780 passengers, the cruise line said, adding that the cruise ship will offer multi-deck water slides, a "bionic bar" where the drinks are served by robotic bartenders and various entertainment shows.

"The vessel will break the stereotypes associated with cruise ships," said Richard Fain, chair of Royal Caribbean International.

Since the company entered the Chinese market, with its the first trip from Shanghai in 2009, it now offers routes from Shanghai and Tianjin.

The company said it hopes to introduce more cruise ships, including Symphony of the Seas, into China to make the most of the opportunities afforded by the booming cruise market.

China has become the world's eighth biggest cruise market. The number of outbound cruise passengers in China topped 2 million for the first time in 2016, according to a report by China Cruise & Yacht Industry Association.

China's major port cities such as Tianjin, Shanghai, Qingdao and Guangzhou saw a total of 996 inbound and outbound cruise ships in 2016, rising 58 percent year on year.



Experts with the World Tourism Organization (WTO) have said that Yunnan Province is poised to become one of Asia's most sought-after travel destinations as well in the next 20 years.

Home to 25 ethnic groups, Yunnan is mysterious and appealing to European and American tourists who are amazed at the ethnic culture and various customs here.