Star Cruises returns to Shanghai with SuperStar Virgo’s Golden Sea Route
As the Chinese cruising market matures, 8D7N itineraries that meet the International standard has become a norm. To celebrate the inaugural cruise of SuperStar Virgo’s Shanghai-Tokyo-Osaka triple homeport itinerary, a special ceremony was held at Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal on 6 July. Close to 2,000 Chinese guests embarked on the Golden Sea Route journey, the first itinerary of its kind in China from Shanghai today; the inaugural sailing will also be joined by hundreds of Japanese and international guests cruising from Tokyo and Osaka.
Over 300 distinguished guests have graced the occasion, including Ms. Wong Hong,BaoshanDistrict Party Committee Secretary; Mr. OzakiKenichiro, Deputy Director of Shanghai Office, Japan National Tourism Organization; Mr. Colin Au, Group President of Genting Hong Kong; Mr. Kent Zhu, President of Genting Cruise Lines; as well as Mr. Ang Moo Lim, President of Star Cruises. As part of its commitment to corporate social responsibility and in contribution to SuperStar Virgo’s homeport city, Star Cruises hosted an exclusive sneak peek of the Junior Cruisers Program for autistic children; as a token of appreciation, the children presented a collective drawing to Captain Jan Blomqvist of SuperStar Virgo. The initiative was intended to bring forth a positive impact on the society with cruise travel, as well as to promote awareness and support of autistic children.
Known as the “Golden Route of Japan”, the air-land package tour that covers Tokyo, Osaka and Mount Fuji has always been popular among Chinese tourists; in comparison, a cruising voyage offers higher added value and greater flexibility between ports of call, which attribute to its rise as a top-of-mind option for outbound travel in recent years. Star Cruises converges the perks of the “Golden Route” and cruise travel to launch the 7-night Golden Sea Route on SuperStar Virgo, its flagship with the highest cruising speed in Asia to iconic Osaka, cosmopolitan Tokyo, majestic Mount Fuji and idyllic Kagoshima, taking cruising guests to the four iconic Japanese destinations on one trip. Guests will also appreciate the convenience of a cruise vacation as they can visit multiple destinations without the hassle of multiple flights or bus journeys and without the stress of having to pack and unpack and travel to different hotels.
The Golden Sea Route presented by Star Cruises speaks volumes about the current cruising trend - with 80% of 25 million cruisers in the world opting for 8-Day/7-Night cruise voyages, this has also gained popularity in China as its cruising market matures. SuperStar Virgo takes the lead with the first 7-night cruise voyage in China, enhancing Chinese homeport itineraries to meet International standards of 8-Day/7-Night voyages, making a distinctive mark in the industry with a differentiated cruising experience for Chinese guests.
The Chinese cruising market currently experiences its Golden Era - as one of the top cruise hubs in China, Shanghai has been in the spotlight with International cruise liners making calls to the city; with local cruise brands on the rise, the intensification of competitions in Eastern China has led to price wars and perceived product similarity problems. Meanwhile, as travellers become more familiarized with the concept of cruising, they have higher expectations for an engaging and fulfilling travel experience. In fact, the Shanghai market has evolved to a new phase where differentiated and diversified cruising products are now on demand.
Mr. Kent Zhu, President of Genting Cruise Lines said, “Genting Cruise Lines is dedicated to develop the Shanghai market with a great variety of cruise products with enhanced itineraries to meet international standards. The unique 7-night Golden Sea Route will be marked as a first in the industry, setting an exemplary benchmark of product differentiation in Shanghai. We will leverage on our expertise in cruising and travel in contribution to the development of Shanghai as Asia’s No.1 and the world’s Top 3 cruise terminal.”
With regards of the launch of this brand-new itinerary, Ms. Wong Hong,BaoshanDistrict Party Committee Secretarysaid, “As the pioneer of cruising in Asia, Star Cruises has opened the doors to many first and wonderful travel experiences to Asian travellers. Today SuperStar Virgo returns to Shanghai with an immersive trip to Japan for Chinese guests. I am confident that Chinese cruisers will enjoy exponential enhancements in the quality of shore excursions and overall experience.”
Mr. Ang Moo Lim, President of Star Cruises said, “In line with our commitment to offer the most comprehensive cruising experience to our guests for the Shanghai deployment of SuperStar Virgo, we have introduced new elements to enhance our line-ups of shore excursions, dining, entertainment and enrichment programs, such as taking Michelin-starred cuisines from Hong Kong to Shanghai, launching the newly revamped Junior Cruisers Program, as well as extending distinctive characteristics of cruise destinations onto the ship itself, where our guests will find themselves immersed in the cultural atmosphere as soon as they set foot on-board.”
One of the highlights on Golden Sea Route is the incorporation of Chinese and Japanese cultures in entertainment and enrichment programs.Guests at the launch event enjoyed an exclusive showcase where traditional and contemporary cultures of the Orient converge on the bespoke runaway of SuperStar Virgo - 21 selected multitalented crew members of the cruise donneddistinctive cheongsams handcrafted by Hong Kong’s top bespoke Tailor “Linva Tailor” as a tribute to Chinese femininity; Naoko Tsuruta, renowned fashion designer, had also hosted an elaborate Kimono Fashion Show at Sea to showcase contemporary adaptations of the traditional Japanese garment.
The inauguration ceremony was followed by the Midsummer Foam Party, where guests enjoyed icy champagne, a swimwear fashion show by French label JOG, as well as a showcase of creative hairstyles by Mr. TomoNumayama, one of the most in-demand hairstylists whose star-studded clientele includes Hollywood celebrity Jacky Chan.
The exclusive SuperStar Virgo Golden Sea Route is now open for booking with multiple summer offers! Pricing starts from RMB$4,999, inclusive of port charges and four shore excursions*; guests who book cabin categories of balcony and above receive a complimentary set of Kimono, guests may also enjoy all-access pass to Junior Cruiser Program of RMB$2,000 value, as well as professional family portrait service of RMB$1,299 value on first-come first-served basis. The July sailings of SuperStar Virgo are almost fully booked – act now!