Two luxury cruise ships with 650 international tourists aboard cast anchor off Da Nang city on January 11, beginning a tour of the world’s cultural heritage sites in the central region.

The Amazara Quest, carrying 450 tourists from Japan, China and Great Britain, and Seabourn Pride with 200 tourists from Great Britain, Germany and the US on board were the second and third cabin cruisers visiting the central region in the first few days of the year.

The Tien Sa port is expected to receive three more cruise ships carrying almost 2,500 international tourists from Asia and Europe this month.

Travel agents expected a 20 percent year-on-year increase in international arrivals by sea in Da Nang in 2011, resulting from the rallying trend of the global economy. In the first quarter alone, 23 ships carrying over 10,000 tourists, mostly from traditional European markets, are expected to cast anchor off the central port.

Most noteworthy is the comeback of luxury cruise liners such as Costa Classica, each carrying almost 2,000 passengers. Influxes of tourists from Japan and China are also expected to contribute to a considerable growth in voyages aboard Azamara Quest cruise liners.

Da Nang is expected to attract some 450,000 international arrivals this year to go sightseeing in tourist attractions in the central region such as the Hoi An ancient city, the former imperial city of Hue and the My Son temple sanctuary./.