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Sun Princess (photo: Princess Cruises)

Cruise ships to ease room shortage during Olympics

Ten million people are expected to visit Tokyo, but ships belonging to MSC and Princess may help alleviate the hotel shortage.

Plans are going ahead to position “hotel ships” in Tokyo Bay to alleviate the anticipated shortage of accommodation during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

The Japanese capital could experience a shortage of up to 14,000 hotel rooms in August 2020, according to the Mizuho Research Institute.

Some 10 million people are expected to visit the city during the games, including those directly related to the events and tourists from home and abroad.

Progress has been made in selecting large cruise ships, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reports, as well as in adjusting the necessary laws. But developing port facilities and waste disposal remain outstanding issues.

The spill-over hotel ships will act as a temporary lodging option during the major events, the city authorities say.

Cruise ships were used for additional accommodation at the last two Olympic Games, in Rio de Janeiro and London.

Floating hotels
Tokyo has been in discussions with MSC Cruises, among others, to dock the 1,984-passenger (992-cabin) MSC Lirica at the city’s pier No.15 for the period covering the Olympics.

Domestic travel giant JTB Corp says it has already overcome the waste and facilities problems and has started to sell rooms aboard Sun Princess, which will be docked in Yokohama just to the south of Tokyo during the games.

Rooms on the 1,011-cabin vessel start at 30,000 yen (€240) per night, rising to as high as 600,000 yen for the finest suites.

Travel agencies in Japan that have started offering packages including cabins on the vessel have been receiving a lot of inquiries, JTB says, in part because of the novelty of staying in a floating hotel.

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