The first direct cruise between Shanghai and Taiwan open to individual customers will set sail on October 10, Shanghai International Port Group, the State-owned local port operator, and Costa Cruises, an Italian cruise company, announced on Monday.
"We will attempt to develop more such routes between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan," an unidentified officer at Shanghai International Port Group was reported as saying by Tuesday's Oriental Morning Post. However, no information was given as to whether the cruise will be regular.
The cruise will last for eight days and seven nights, setting out from Shanghai International Port at 5 pm on October 10 and arriving at Kaohsiung on the fourth day. It will also call in on Taichung and Keelung.
Tickets for the cruise cost 5,999 yuan ($881) for non-sea-view rooms and 7,999 yuan ($1175) for sea-view rooms, not including visa fees and on-shore costs.
So far, several hundred places have been booked on the cruise, which has a capacity of 1,500, a staff member from Shanghai International Port Group's ticket sales website cruiseshanghai.com told the Global Times Tuesday.
In January, Costa Cruises opened routes from Hong Kong to Taiwan serving mainland tourists, meaning Shanghai customers had to make their way to Hong Kong first.
Royal Caribbean International, a Miami-based cruise company, will also launch a route departing from Shanghai to tour Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong next year.