Chinese and other foreign tourists need no visa when they use designated cruise ships to visit South Korea under a six-month pilot project that began this week to boost the country's tourism industry.
As its initial step, the justice ministry said it has designated three cruise ships operating between South Korea, China and Japan -- Costa Serena, Sapphire Princess, and Quantum of the Seas.
The majority of cruise ship passengers are Chinese, and they can travel freely with no visa during their trip aboard the three ships. Previously, Chinese tourists who purchased cruise tickets through local travel agencies were exempted from visa only for three days.
Under a new program that will last until next March, Chinese tourists can buy visa-free cruise tickets from travel agencies at any location in the world to visit South Korea.
The justice ministry said the project was designed to attract more Chinese tourists into South Korea. It would consider extending the visa-free project after assessing the results of its pilot program.
Aju News Park Sae-jin = email@example.com
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