The cruise boat carrying 25 passengers started at Bach Dang Quay in District 1 and went along Ben Nghe and Tau Hu canals, parallel to Vo Van Kiet Avenue, for four hours.
The cruise boat landed at the Long Hoa Pagoda on Ben Binh Dong Pier in Ward 15, where a vegetarian lunch awaited the visitors.
Indochina Junk Company is the first travel service to exploit waterway tourism within the city. The company will offer cruises every Sunday and increase trips after it builds more boats.
HCMC has great potential to develop its waterways for tourism like other countries in the region. Water environment, environmental sanitation, landscapes along Ben Nghe, Tau Hu, Kenh Doi, Kenh Te canals have been improved. District 8 authorities plan to develop tourism, but will preserve the historical and cultural sites, and protect the environment.
The district government will promote destinations such as Binh Dong Temple, Long Hoa Pagoda, floating market on Binh Dong Pier, and ancient and night streets.
Vo Van Kiet Avenue has contributed to improving the environment and bringing a beautiful look to the city, an advantage for waterway tourism development.
According to experts and leaders of travel companies, the municipal authorities can develop short day tours presenting daily activities of local people along canals to international visitors. The local government should also create advantages for enterprises to build their own piers to pick up tourists.