Penin­sula’s new pri­vate cruiser plies the river

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HOSPITALITY - By XU JUNQIAN in Shanghai xu­jun­qian@chi­nadaily.com .cn

T h e Pe n i n s u l a S h a n g h a i i s up­grad­ing its fleet of lux­ury ve­hi­cle ser­vices by in­clud­ing an Ital­ian yacht at the cost of $1 mil­lion.

The new cruiser, an Az­imut 47 Fly­bridge, has re­placed the former Princess yacht that has been in ser­vice for about four years, when the lux­ury ho­tel be­came the first to start of­fer­ing pri­vate cruises along the Huangpu River in 2013.

Dec­o­rated in the liv­ery of the 151-year-old hospi­tal­ity brand, the 14.5-me­ter cruiser can carry a max­i­mum of 10 pas­sen­gers, as well as one pi­lot and one sailor. It hit the wa­ter in March. The cost of a river cruise starts from 8,000 yuan ($1,160) per hour, plus a 15 per­cent ser­vice charge, rank­ing it among the most ex­pen­sive boat trips on the river.

Guests can also or­der the ho­tel’s sig­na­ture af­ter­noon tea, or other

Roundup

food and bev­er­ages be­fore­hand, at an ex­tra charge. Char­ter or be­spoke pack­ages are avail­able upon ar­range­ment, with costs cal­cu­lated by hour.

“We are de­lighted to in­tro­duce the Az­imut 47 Fly­bridge yacht to our ex­ist­ing fleet of ve­hi­cles,” said Joseph W.Y. C hong , the ho­tel ’s gen­eral man­ager. “The cruiser will al­low our guests to en­joy the iconic sky­line and dra­matic wa­ter­ways of China’s largest me­trop­o­lis.”

A typ­i­cal cruise ex­pe­ri­ence of­fered by the Penin­sula be­gins with a chauf­feured ride from the ho­tel lobby to the dock at the up­per reaches of the Huangpu River, about 10 min­utes away.

An hour is suf­fi­cient for a round trip and a panorama of the most quin­tes­sen­tial parts of the river and the views along the banks, which com­prise the cen­tur y-old Bund prom­e­nade on the west bank and the tow­er­ing sky­scrapers of Pudong on the east bank.

The area has re­ceived a plethora of prom­i­nent fig­ures, as ar­riv­ing by boat used to be the most con­ve­nient way to visit the city, which used to be known as the Paris of the Ori­ent.

Penin­sula Ho­tels boasts a long­stand­ing tra­di­tion of pro­vid­ing lux- ury fleet ser­vices, partly due to its found­ing fam­ily’s per­sonal in­ter­est in au­to­mo­biles and aviation.

In 2006, the Penin­sula Hong Kong broke its own pre vi­ous record for the sin­gle largest or­der of Rolls Royce au­to­mo­biles — 14 long-wheel­base Phan­toms built to cus­tom spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

The Penin­sula Shanghai cur­rently owns and op­er­ates a fleet of five Rolls Royce au­to­mo­biles, in­clud­ing one vin­tage 1934 Phantom, as well as nine BMWs for chauf­feured rides.

With an am­bi­tion to of­fer its guests a com­plete ex­pe­ri­ence of the city by road, wa­ter and air, it is also work­ing closely with the mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment to get an of­fi­cial li­cense to use its he­li­copter apron on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

T h e a p r o n , a t o p t h e h o t e l ’s 15-story build­ing, is in­cluded as one of Shanghai’s 50 spots for he­li­copter take-offs and land­ings for emer­gency use, and the only one lo­cated on a com­mer­cial build­ing.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The Penin­sula Shanghai has launched cruise ser­vices on the Huangpu River.

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