Posted by: cruise2 | 16 September, 2014

Chinese Taishan Enters Service

by Kevin Griffin writing for cybercruises.com

The end of August saw the inauguration of regular cruise service by Bohai Sea Cruises Ltd, when its Panamanian-registered 800-berth Chinese Taishan left Yantai for her first regular 5-day cruise to the South Korean ports of Incheon and Jeju.

The Chinese Taishan

The Chinese Taishan

By summer she will trade to Korea and by winter further south to Taiwan and the South China Sea, probably from Shanghai.

Bohai Sea Cruises executives announced that their new ship had been acquired fro the world’s largest cruise group, Carnival Corp & plc, but at the same time said that the line would be an independently-operated Chinese enterprise, and not associated with any of the big three cruise groups, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian’s major shareholder Star Cruises.

The vessel herself is the former Costa Voyager, the smallest ship in the Costa fleet when it disposed of her.

Costa Voyager. Ex Iberocruceros Grand Voyager (Image by Roberto Munao’)

Built for Royal Olympic Cruises in 2004 as Olympic Voyager, the Chinese Taishan’s twin sister Explorer is now owned by the University of Virginia and used in its Semester at Sea programme.She is managed by V.Ships of Monaco.

Bohai Sea Cruises has strong back-up as a subsidiary of the publicly traded Bohai Ferry Co Ltd, which operates nine modern ropax ferries between Yantai and Dalian in the Bohai Sea, and whose stock is recommended as a buy at the moment. Bohai Ferry also offers round trip mini-cruises on its ferry fleet.

Based in Hong Kong, Bohai Sea Cruises has said that it would be interested in acquiring further existing cruise ships as it grew its business. Yantai, formerly know as Chi-Fou, has a population of about seven million and lies at the juncture of the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea across from Korea and Japan. With a moderate climate, it is known for its apples and wine and borders the city of Qingdao, 145 miles to the southwest.

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