XIAMEN, A cruise route passing through six South East Asian countries countries along the Maritime Silk Road has been launched here with the Costa neoRomantica, a 220.6-metre-long, 30.8-metre-wide cruise liner, beginning her maiden tour from Xiamen, in eastern China's Fujian Provinc,e with 1,800 passengers on board.

It will make a loop and visit attractions in the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Cambodia and Vietnam before heading back to Xiamen over the next 15 days.

The route was jointly launched Thursday by Xiamen Port Holding Group, China International Travel Service and Costa Cruises.

Singapore's Consul-General in Xiamen, Chi Chiew Sum, welcomed the launch of the new route and hoped it can help promote co-operation in cruise services between Xiamen and Singapore.

"Many overseas Chinese in South East Asia came from Fujian, so we have a lot in common in culture," said Cai Siwei with Xiamen Port Holding Group. "We hope to bring out local culture and enhance cultural exchanges through the trip."

China's cruise industry has experienced rapid development over the past decade. According to China Communications and Transportation Association (CCTA), 15 cruise ports in China received 5,807 passenger liners with 18.1 million outbound and inbound tourists in 2017.

Source: NAM News Network