Cruise Lines Curtail China, South Korea Itineraries
Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises have indicated that they will cancel South Korean port visits from their China-based cruises.
In a post on its Chinese website, Royal Caribbean said it would remove visits to popular South Korea sites due to “recent developments regarding the situation in South Korea.”
Carnival’s Costa Cruises said it will remove calls to South Korean ports for its upcoming cruises home ported out of China, replacing them with cruising at sea or calls to destinations in Japan, reports news agency Reuters.
Earlier this year MSC, started offering few cruises from the Northeastern Chinese city of Tianjin directly bound for South Korea. Late last year, Princess Cruises and NCL took similar action by reducing their Korea-bound services from China significantly.
China has also reportedly told its tour operators to curtail ventures involving South Korea. This includes blocking China-based cruise ships from docking in South Korean ports.
China has voiced concerns over plans by South Korea and the U.S. to set up the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile system in South Korea. North Korea conducted a number of nuclear and missile tests last year, and this year, in contravention of U.N. resolutions. The tests have prompted the planned deployment of the missile later this year.
The number of Chinese tourists visiting South Korea has nearly quadrupled to eight million over the past five years, accounting for nearly half of foreign visitors, according to Korean government data.