June 25, 2012 11:09
Voyager of the Seas, Asia's largest cruise ship, anchored in Jeju Island on Saturday. The ship was carrying 3,470 passengers, including 3,120 Chinese tourists.
More than 80 buses were required to shuttle them through the southern resort island -- a number so big that half of the tour guides had to be hired from other parts of the country.
The visitors spent six hours touring the island, including Seongsan Sunrise Peak and Jungmun Tourist Complex in Seogwipo city, and Yongduam, a volcanic rock shaped like a dragon's head in Jeju city, before shopping at the duty free shop.
The arrival of the cruise ship helped set a new record of 10,878 visitors to Jeju in a single day, surpassing the previous high of 8,396 on Oct. 3.
Voyager of the Seas weighs 137,000 tons and measures 311 m in length and 51 m in width at its widest section. It also stands 14 stories high, making it the 10th-largest cruise ship in the world. It is three times larger than the Titanic, can carry up to 3,840 passengers, and has a crew of 1,181. It is the largest cruise ship to anchor in Korea.
It has a swimming pool equipped with its own water slide, a three-storey theater, casino, rock-climbing facility, miniature golf course, multi-floor night club, ice skating and in-line skating rinks, and a shopping strip that rivals a department store in size.
Until October, Voyager of the Seas will operate 17 trips linking Shanghai, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Jeju and Busan.
"The number of tourists setting foot on Jeju Island from cruise ships has been surging from 753 on two trips in 2004 to 64,995 aboard 69 cruises last year," said Oh Ik-cheol, director of maritime affairs with the Jeju Provincial Government. "This year, the number is expected to rise to around 120,000 aboard 85 cruises."
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