Sightseeing river cruises get a touch of culture, and a laugh


A crosstalk performance on the No. 1 Sightseeing Cruise Ship

Enjoying the performance

Crosstalk performances are staged on the No. 1 Sightseeing Cruise Ship.

Traditional crosstalk performances will be staged on the No. 1 Sightseeing Cruise Ship, the biggest vessel of its kind on the Huangpu River, every weekend, creating a "riverside theater."

A two-hour performance by eight performers led by Gao Hecai, a disciple of crosstalk celebrity Guo Degang, was held on Saturday afternoon, the first of its kind on the river.

The performance will be hosted every Saturday and Sunday as part of the latest efforts to develop new cruise tour programs blending culture and tourism and make the iconic Huangpu River cruise a world-class attraction.

Crosstalk, orxiangsheng, is a traditional performance involving banter between two performers.

The number of people in the audience is limited to 120 for each performance and the admission is 158 yuan (US$22.44) per person.

Saturday's performance had 117 people in the audience, most younger than 40.

The dragon-shaped ship features Chinese cultural elements. Peonies and propitious clouds adorn the vessel, and the top level of the four-deck ship is designed in ancient Chinese style.

"More performances will be introduced onto cruise ships on the iconic Huangpu River," said Hong Chaohui, deputy general manager of the operator Shanghai Huangpu River Cruise Co.

“We will introduce musicals on the 'Crystal Princess' which is a Western-style ship," said Hong.

"The aim is to enrich the tour experiences of passengers and offer diversified tour options for them."

A night session of the performances is also on the schedule, according to Hong.

The performance is proving popular as Saturday's tickets were almost sold out, he said.

"We are also having discussions with performance troupes to create a special ship featuring cultural performances," he said.

The performances are updated constantly and they will not be repeated over two months, said Gao.

"We plan to create a special program combining the culture of the Huangpu River and Shanghai's stories to be staged on the ship," said Hong.

"I burst into laughter from time to time and it is a pleasant experience to enjoy the beauty of the river and the performance at the same time," said Lin Li, a Shanghai resident.

More cruise routes and tour itineraries will be developed in the future, integrating delicacies, culture and amusement, said Hong.

Cruise tours on the Huangpu River are being given a gourmet and cultural touch with the launch of a food and culture festival running through September 30.

These includehuaiyang shizitou(stewed meatballs) and Shaoxing stinky tofu (choudoufu), and they are served by time-honored restaurants.

The aim is to make Huangpu River cruise tour experiences more diversified than just purely sightseeing, and turn the ships into floating restaurants, teahouses and theaters, said the Shanghai Huangpu River Cruise Co.

Source: SHINE

Editor: Yang Meiping

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