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Waterway congestion at Haiphong port, tourism chaos

The US-based international SilverSea Cruises Ltd has decided to cancel cruises to Haiphong due to port’s congested waterways.

With substandard traffic infrastructure, including a lack of tourist dock and unimpressive tourism products, it was little surprise that the five-star cruise line cancelled their Haiphong stop.

Terrible waterway traffic

Le Dinh Tuan, Director of Tan Hong-Du Ngoan Viet or Viet Excursions, a firm responsible for welcoming the Silver Shadow cruise, said he was not surprised to receive the bad news.

Tuan shared, “I really sympathise with international tourists who had to remain on board for three hours to travel the three-kilometres from Dinh Vu port to Haiphong City.

According to Tuan, many international tourists are keen to visit Ha Long and Hanoi, but due to the time it takes to travel from Quang Ninh to Hanoi, they are compelled to call at Haiphong in the hope of saving their time. However, Haiphong’s creaking traffic infrastructure has left many disappointed.

“A delegation of nearly 2,000 tourists from Europe and America booked places on the Silver Shadow. They were disappointed with the traffic situation in Haiphong, and decided to suspend their visit and demand compensation as they felt as if they had been swindled,” Tuan noted.

In recent years, the Silver Shadow cruise ship has often visited Vietnam, but previously only stopped in the central and southern regions.

An anonymous official from Saigontourist said the firm is reluctant to recommend tourist cruises stop at Haiphong due to unfavourable traffic conditions.

Tourism port needed

Many tourists who travel to Haiphong and Ha Long want to visit Hanoi but are not able to due to excessive traffic time.

The same situation is recorded in many other Vietnam travel companies across the country like Ha Long and Ho Chi Minh City.

Although Vietnam boasts a coastline of over 3,200 kilometres and has welcomed high-end tourist cruises for dozens of years, the country has not yet built a tourism port suitably equipped to welcome international tourists.

To date, almost large tourist cruises have to call at Phu My Port in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau before arriving in Ho Chi Minh City.

These cruises can only moor after waiting for cargo ships for hours. Cruises coming to Ha Long, meanwhile, have to stop at Cai Lan Port which is also a busy cargo port. Tourists have no other choice but hire small boats to their destinations.

Le Quang Thang, an official from Saigontourist, said international tourists are often dismayed with waiting at chaotic cargo ports during their cruises.

Vietnam Travel Company, Vietnam Travel Agency




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