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German cruise ship pays first call to Naha

Date Posted: 2008-02-06

Okinawa’s tourism numbers are increasing with new cruise ships paying visits to Okinawa.
M/S Deutschland, a German cruise ship, made its first Okinawa visit over the weekend, bringing 330 passengers for a sightseeing junket that included stops at Shuri Castle, Shikina Garden and Okinawa World. Passengers were treated to on-board Japanese and Okinawan performances, and chef Hideo Horie served up fresh sushi as the visitors watched Okinawa traditional dance and taiko drums in action.
The M/S Deutschland’s owners had asked Okinawa Prefecture for permission to expand its cruise routes from Europe. Kankou Convention Bureau was quick to tell the shipping company “we can make plans for the future if we do it once from Europe. We hope passengers had a good time on Okinawa.” The cruise ship is on a sailing tour that has made port calls in Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and Hong Kong. The vessel is now in Shanghai.
Naha Port is excited about the resurgence of cruise ship business. More than 2,400 tourist passengers are projected to visit Okinawa aboard eight large cruise liners between now and the end of March.

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