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Explore Asia – by sea

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As the Port of Shanghai announces a new cruise passenger terminal, Asian tourism experts are launching a campaign to promote the region as a great cruising destination with unique and alluring day trips available, such as the Great Wall of China and the jungles of Indonesia.

The Asia-Pacific region currently lags behind the Caribbean, Europe and Alaska as a cruise destination but it is predicted to grow increasingly popular. “Asia is booming, maybe because people are too familiar with the south Caribbean or South America, and Europe is expensive,” said Michael C.Y. Chang, director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York.

The world’s two largest cruise operators, Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., are already establishing a presence in Asia. Carnival’s Costa Cruises already offers Asia-Pacific vacations on the Costa Allegra, and Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas will become the largest ship in the region when it begins its deployment in December. Shanghai’s busy port, the gateway to the Yangtze River, is already served by Costa, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, which fall under the umbrella of Carnival.