Affordable yacht cruises a hit
One of the city’s largest yacht operators is now offering more affordable co-leasing services to tourists who want to cruise along the iconic Huangpu River.
Based on the new rates, the cost of taking a two-hour cruise on a yacht now starts from 599 yuan ($94), which means a tourist would pay as low as 59.9 yuan for renting a vessel that can accommodate up to 10 people, according to co-leasing operator 100 Yachting (Shanghai) Yacht Investment and Development Co Ltd. The minimum cost of a yacht trip used to be priced at more than 2,000 yuan per hour.
The new service has been well received by local customers since its launch in March. Zhang Fubao, general manager of 100 Yachting, said that monthly leasing orders have surged to between 80 and 90,
Zhang Fubao, as compared to the past when it was capped at 20.
Zhang explained that the high rates in the past were largely due to the costs of buying and maintaining a vessel. The cheapest yacht on the market costs more than 3 million yuan and its annual maintenance and operation cost amounts to nearly 20 percent of its price. He said that the co-leasing service has greatly lowered the maintenance costs, making it affordable to the masses now.
“Taking a cruise used to be a privilege for rich people and many luxury cruise ships just laid idle…what we are doing is to provide broader products for customers from different income levels. Yachting is no longer a dream for ordinary tourists,” said Zhang, who added that the company expects to “make ends meet next year” following the addition of 10 more yachts to the current fleet.
Yang Xinfa, deputy secretary-general of China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry, said he is glad that more people now have the chance of experiencing a cruise along the river.
“It is also worth noting that yachting can offer many options to people’s leisure activities, such as fishing, sightseeing and private gatherings, so there is great potential for various yacht-related activities to be explored in China,” said Yang, who also believed that the city is capable of becoming a world-class homeport for yachts.
“Shanghai is one of the few cities that own water resources and this will greatly help the city to enhance its image by letting the world know its history and culture through its beautiful waters,” he added.
Apart from 100 Yachting, another port near the former World Expo site is also planning on price cutting measures, the Oriental Morning Post reported.
The maximum cost for leasing a yacht there will be capped at 5,000 yuan per hour, Shen Bin, general manager from the Houtanyuan Industrial Co Ltd of the Expo Shanghai Group, was quoted as saying.
“Apart from the sightseeing functions along the Huangpu River, we are also working on developing tourism activities to nearby Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, and it will hopefully launch soon,” Zhang said.
Yachting is no longer a dream for ordinary tourists.”
general manager of 100 Yachting (Shanghai) Yacht Investment and Development Co Ltd