Shanghai will soon be the first city in China to become a port for cruise ships, according to Royal Caribbean
. And China's shipping companies
are among those hoping the booming industry will help boost their profits as well.
The biggest cruise ship in Asia, Rhapsody of the Seas, will start its journey from Shanghai's port in April of next year. The ship's owner, Royal Caribbean, has recently set up a representative office in Shanghai and Beijing.
By the end of 2011, an additional 6 cruise ships will be in service, bringing the total number of bunks to over 91-thousand. The cruise market is growing at rate of 9% in China, and the number of cruise passengers is expected to reach 3 million by 2010 in Shanghai.