The Ovation of the Seas in Tianjin

With four berths, Tianjin expects around 800,000 passengers this year, and through the first six months of 2017, traffic was up some 102.4 percent.

Customs and border protection has been further refined, reducing clearance times to 10 seconds in some instances with automated terminals.

Earlier this year, the port signed a MOU with Costa to build a supply and distribution center, with Costa committing to year-round voyages from Tianjin through 2019.

Also of note, the MSC Lirica sailed from Tianjin in February, offering a new “Around China” itinerary with interporting in Zhoushan, Hong Kong and Xiamen, as well as calls to South Korea and Japan, according to Da Wu, vice general manager of Tianjin International Cruise Terminal.

Wu hopes his port will offer more diversified products, including cruises to nowhere, to attract new passengers

Zhengdong Zhang, general manager, added: “Similar to MSC’s model, we are exploring opening domestic routes to Dalian, Yantai, Qingdao, Rongcheng and Weihai, creating a product in which passengers only need their national identification card to travel.”

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