The industrial and economic development of China has transformed it into the factory for the world. It has resulted in a dramatic jump in business travelers visiting China and the country has consciously been trying to develop tourism targeted at that segment of travelers. The latest initiative has been the introduction of the world’s largest inland river cruise ship on the Yangtze River on April 7. The 10,000-ton five-star cruise ship was built by the Wuhan Yangtze Cruise Company at a cost of 180 million Yuan. Named the President’s Flagship, the floating hotel will serve the Three Gorges national tourist route.
The President’s Flagship is 135.2 meters long and 19.6 meters wide and can carry 374 passengers. The completion of the Three Gorges Dam has greatly enhanced the navigability of the Three Gorges portion of the river and as per the Inland River Cruise Ship Classification and Assessment Standards, 2010 a vessel with 12,000 ton of displacement can sail in the river. It is the world’s largest and most advanced inland river cruise ship. It is a five star floating hotel. It has all the facilities and amenities like banquet hall, conference center, gymnasium, sauna room, shopping mall, business center and presidential suites, which are comparable to five-star hotels.
Qin Cao of the Wuhan Yangtze Cruise Company said on the occasion of the launch of the luxury cruise service that previously tourists mainly enjoyed the scenery of the Three Gorges but they can now enjoy the high-quality leisure services on ships while enjoying the natural scenery. The luxury travel segment amongst the tourists will definitely be attracted by the quality of service and amenities provided by the President’s Flagship. At 3,500 Yuan for a standard cabin, the floating hotel is a little expensive for an average Chinese tourist but tourists from North America, Russia and Europe find it very affordable and attractive and have already booked up the ship for the first half of 2011. The floating hotels are going to rule the Yangtze River.