Xiamen, in the Fujian Province along the southeastern coast of China, is the closest Chinese city to Taiwan. For cruise lines looking for a close destination and fuel savings, this has become a relative no-brainer.

Construction of a new facility started in May and will take three years to complete. The quayside will be 2,000 meters in length.

This year’s traffic figures are looking up for the Xiamen International Cruise Center (XICC) for two reasons. First, the Xiamen tourism bureau is focusing on refining and developing Taiwan-related itineraries and shore excursions, having joined forces with Taiwan International Ports Corporation and Taichun port.

Second, Xiamen has become a key homeport for cruise charters.

Xiamen International Cruise Home Port Corporation (the main shareholder of the port) signed a charter agreement with Star Cruises, with the SuperStar Virgo sailing three cruises over the summer to Vietnam.

In addition, XICC’s spokesperson Peizhi Cai, said that they have reached an agreement with Royal Caribbean to charter the Legend of the Sea for 40 ship sailing days for $16 million, translating to around eight to 10 sailings, estimated to bring over 30,000 passengers to Xiamen.

As the port wants to boost the cruise market in Xiamen, they are in fact chartering the ship directly and will break up tickets to travel agents and tour operators, according to a port official.

Xiamen will be one of many Chinese ports at the upcoming China cruise trade show.

The ninth edition of the China Cruise Shipping and International Expo is the Asia/Pacific's No. 1 cruise event, learn more at http://www.ccyia.com/ccs/EN/index.htm. The show takes place Oct. 15-17 in Tianjin, China.

Read a detailed analysis of all Chinese ports in Cruise Industry News Fall 2014 Quarterly Magazine, due out October 15.

Visit Cruise Industry News, the official event media sponsor and partner, at booth B31.