▲ Cruise ships such as this one are becoming a common sight in Jeju waters. Photo by Kim Gyong Ho
While the vast majority of visitors to Jeju arrive by air, an alternative method is gaining rapid popularity. The number of cruise ships calling at the Port of Jeju has increased and is expected to continue rising.
Currently, there are seven routes and 13 ships calling at Jeju port, and 41,000 people have taken the Jeju-Mokpo route more than any other route.
Sea route is served by KTX cruise lines. KTX, the fastest train in Korea, utilizes the route in cooperation with a Korean cruise company.
In addition to domestic cruise ships, cruise lines such as Nipon Maruho from Japan, will call at Jeju. According to the Jeju provincial office, nine international cruise companies, including Costa Classica, will call at the Jeju port, accommodating 2,207 people with pools, fitness club and duty free shops.
The Italian ship will follow the route from Asia via Europe to the United States, and is expected to bring 2,000 visitors to Jeju.
The number of foreign tourists arriving by sea has been increasing steadily for the last five years. In 2004, two ships called at Jeju port with 753 tourists, and in 2005, 3,205 people came to Jeju by sea; in 2006, the number totaled 1,265. In 2007, that number grew to 7,825.
The Jeju provincial government estimates a 27 billion won boost to the island’s economy from the patrons of the cruise ships.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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