Cruising overseas on the high seas

Updated: 2016-04-11 07:43

By Xu Lin(China Daily)

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Cruising overseas on the high seas

Tourists enjoy fireworks while traveling on Royal Caribbean's cruise liner, Quantum of the Seas. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Guo Xiang turned his attention from the vast sea to his giggling 8-year-old.

The girl, he discovered, was laughing because a server had folded a napkin into the shape of a mouse for her amusement.

This was one of many happy memories from their recent Royal Caribbean cruise. They also enjoyed visiting the theater, swimming and roller-skating. And they occasionally docked for excursions through towns.

"Cruises are good for kids because they're not tiring," Guo says.

"She can have fun. At her age, the ocean is more intriguing than cultural heritage."

The 46-year-old university instructor from Guangdong province's capital, Guangzhou, is among the growing number of Chinese heading overseas via the high seas.

"Cruising is ... a slow-paced lifestyle," Guo says.

"Some think time onboard is wasted. But I believe we should enjoy the sunshine, sea and facilities."

Four- or five-day cruises to Japan or South Korea are particularly popular.

Over 1 million Chinese took cruises abroad last year, a 50 percent increase over 2014, the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association reports.

International cruise companies are, in turn, striving to adapt products for Chinese and have even built new liners targeting the market.

They're offering Chinese and Western fare, plus entertainment forms popular among Chinese like performances and karaoke.

They're staffing Chinese speakers and equipping rooms with electric kettles to heat water in accordance with Chinese preferences.

"Summertime is the peak time for cruises," says Wang Ping, vice-president of Carnival China, which owns the Princess Cruises brand.

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