Tokyo has called up cruise lines to provide accomodation and spectators for the city’s Olympics next year.
Royal Caribbean have scheduled cruises with overnight itineraries, in addition to Princess and MSC ships being charted to serve as floating hotels.
But passengers will have to buy their own tickets to events.
Tokyo is taking a leaf out of the book of the last two Olympic Games where cruise ships were used as additional accommodation for the duration of the major event, which runs from July 24 to August 9, 2020.
The city is expecting 10 million people to visit the city during the games and the Mizuho Research Institute estimates a shortfall of 14,000 hotel rooms for every day of the Olympics.
The shortfall is despite new hotels from brands like Hyatt, Koe, Henn-na, Kimpton and Nohga brands opening across the city and the surrounding region.
Using cruise ships to temporarily increase accommodation is an attractive solution, in the event Tokyo’s tourism boom does not extend beyond the Olympics in the short term.
“It is possible that there will be a shortage of hotel rooms in the summer of the games, but we are also very keen to promote the cruise ship industry to potential customers,” Yuko Atsusaka of the Tokyo Bureau of Ports and Harbours told South China Morning Post.
See which ships will sail you right into the height of the Olympic season and find out which charted ships have cabins available for booking.
The line will have two ships featuring overnight port visits to Tokyo during the 2020 summer Olympic season. Spectrum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas will each sail two itineraries into brand new Tokyo International Cruise Terminal, slated to open July 14, days before the Olympics.
The Tokyo International Cruise Terminal is located at Shinkyaku Pier, near the Harumi Passenger Ship Terminal which currently receives the luxury cruise ships to Tokyo.
Spectrum of the Seas will be the first ship to dock at the Tokyo International Cruise Terminal when she arrives in Tokyo on her roundtrip itinerary departing Shanghai, China on July 25. The 4,905-guest ship will also repeat the sailing on August 2.
The 3,138-guest Voyager of the Seas will offer itineraries beginning July 26 out of Hong Kong and August 2 from Tokyo, each staying overnight.
Japanese travel giant JTB Corp has chartered 1,011 guest Sun Princess for the Olympic Season. They are expecting a total of 36,000 overnight stays during the major event. The ship will be docked in Yokohama, an hour south of Tokyo and Japanese travel agents have started to sell aboard. According to JTB, the minimum required stay on the Sun Princess is two nights and prices range from 30,000 yen (AU$401) to 300,000 yen (AU$4009), per person a night.
JTB Australia says it may have more information on how to book a cabin on board in a month.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has also chartered MSC Lirica from MSC Cruises for the Olympics. The 1,984-passenger ship will be docked at pier No.15 in Koto Ward. The Tokyo Officials said that they are still making adjustments and reservations are not open at this point.