South Korea plans to boost its cruise business, offering $83.3 million in financial benefits to cruise lines calling at country ports, according to the Oceans and Fisheries Ministry.
The country is also said to be funding Korean Cruise Line, a new start-up that is said to be in the market for a medium-sized second-hand cruise ship. Funding will come from mostly the private sector, although the government plans to contribute about 10 percent, according to The Korea Herald.
"According to experts, the number of cruise passengers could be more than 100,000 people if a cruise ship of between 50,000 and 70,000 tons is placed in service," Oceans and Fisheries Minister Kim Young-suk said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency.
It is not the first Korean start-up, as the most recent, Harmony Cruise, sailed an inaugural season in 2012 with the 760-passenger Club Harmony.
The line was operated by Seoul-based Polaris Shipping, which also had 13 cargo ships at the time. The ship sailed three- and four-night sailings from Busan and was in the market for a year before operations were stopped due to soft demand.