A  new cruise ship will be put into operation on Xisha Island routes starting in October to promote the marine tourism development on the South China Sea, according to the cruise route operator Hainan Strait Shipping Co., Ltd.
The new cruise ship, Haisi Gongzhu, or the Princess of the Marine Silk Road, is more comfortable than the current ship. The current vessel, Yexiang Gongzhu, or the Coconut Princess, has sailed 60 trips and carried more than 8,000 domestic tourists to the islands since the cruise route to Xisha was opened on April 28, 2013.
To enhance the travel experience, the company has invested 150 million yuan in the new ship with a dead weight of 11,000 tonnes. It offers 500 passenger berths as well as 3 Chinese and Western restaurants and some entertainment facilities.
Xisha, famous for its beach scenery and pristine ecosystem, has great tourist appeal. The cruise allows tourists to sleep on board the ship and visit the islands of Yinyu, Quanfu and Yagong, where they can play beach volleyball, go diving, experience fishing and take photos.
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