General

Chinese cruise ship to visit Jeju on Aug. 31 after six-year hiatus

Chinese cruise ships are set to return to the southern resort island of Jeju, beginning late this month, officials said Monday, following Beijing’s recent lifting of its six-year ban on group tours to South Korea.The Jeju provincial government has bee…

Chinese cruise ships are set to return to the southern resort island of Jeju, beginning late this month, officials said Monday, following Beijing's recent lifting of its six-year ban on group tours to South Korea.

The Jeju provincial government has been flooded with reservation requests for Chinese cruise visits after the ban was lifted last Thursday, and the first one, a 25,000-ton-class ship, is scheduled to arrive at Jeju on Aug. 31, carrying about 1,000 tourists, the officials said.

Chinese group tours, as well as its cruise ship visits, to South Korea have virtually been halted since March 2017 amid a bilateral rift over the deployment of a U.S. defense system to the South.

As many as 53 cruise ships from China booked a visit to Jeju last Thursday alone and reservations are full until March next year, the officials said.

They said 14 other Chinese cruise ships are to visit Jeju this year -- five in September, one in October and eight in December.

Next year, 38 cruise ships departing from China are to stop at the ports of Jeju and Gangjeong by March, they added.

The number of cruise ship tourists, mostly from China, to Jeju peaked at 1.2 million a year in 2016.

Source: Yonhap News Agency