Xiamen, located along the Southeastern coast in the Fuijan Province, is the closest Chinese mainland port to Taiwan.

Xiamen International Cruise Terminal (XICT) is building four megaship-ready berths for future expansion. This year, however, XICT is the homeport for the Sapphire Princess, Legend of the Seas, and the SuperStar Libra, all on a seasonal basis.

New government outbound tourism initiatives passed earlier this year could put Xiamen in a prime position to capitalize on Chinese tourists sailing to Taiwan, which is about to become much easier.

A lengthy visa process is temporarily suspended for group travel on cruises to Taiwan under qualified travel agents, which can now apply for one-time Taiwan entry permits. The approval time on the permits is one to two business days.

In addition, the Fujian government is seeking approval to make Xiamen a pilot-zone for visa-free travel to China from international tourists traveling in groups of two or more, and allowing them to visit China for up to 15 days.

In 2015 Xiamen saw 66 cruise calls, a 187 percent increase, with 75 calls expects this year, of which 62 are turnarounds.

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The 11th 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/. The show takes place Sept. 23-26 in Tianjin.

Read a detailed analysis of the Chinese cruise market Cruise Industry News Fall/October 2016 Quarterly Magazine, due out Sept. 23.

Visit Cruise Industry News, the official event media sponsor and partner, at CCS in Tianjin