Af­ford­able yacht cruises a hit

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By WANG YING in Shang­hai


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

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