Cruise ships eye royal attractions in central Vietnam

By VnExpress   March 25, 2017 | 04:28 pm GMT+7
Cruise ships eye royal attractions in central Vietnam
The Imperial City in Hue, one of Vietnam's most famous tourist destinations. Photo by AFP

At least two luxury liners have big plans for the charming Hue as more tourists are drawn to the city's scenery and history.

U.S.-based Royal Caribbean International and Hong Kong-based Star Cruises have said they will bring a combined 150,000 foreign tourists to the central city of Hue this year, according to media reports.

“Tourist arrivals in Hue via cruise ships have grown since 2015, when the city's Chan May Port was upgraded for bigger vessels,” Le Huu Minh, a tourism official, told the Saigon Times.

Last year, 79,000 foreign tourists arrived in Hue on cruise ships, he said.

Thua Thien-Hue Province received 790,000 visitors in the first three months this year, up 2.77 percent against the same period last year, according to official data. There were 313,000 foreigners, up 13.09 percent.

Hue, with its royal heritage and rich history, is clearly the main draw. The city is famous for stunning scenery and well-preserved cultural and historical sites of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945.

The Imperial City, or the Citadel, in particular is a popular tourist attraction. It has been recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1993.

Starting April 22, it will also stay open at night, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., for those who want to escape the summer heat.

The extended opening hours will remain effective until September.