The MS Amsterdam sailed into the Port of Tianjin, gateway to Beijing, on Tuesday night about 9:00pm. It was 28F and snowing! Winter in China feels pretty cold to a couple of Floridians; but a stroll out to the Promenade Deck was certainly required. You’ll find the resulting photos below.
The Customs Office started to process, mostly crew, on Tuesday night. None-the-less, no one exited the ship until the following morning when the process continued with dozens of agents on hand in the cavernous Cruise Passenger Terminal. This is a large, vast space that remains totally under-utilized. On previous visits, we had noticed a coffee shop that was never open. They retain an unbroken record. Still no coffee or WIFI for us. I’d been told a duty-free shop had finally opened in late 2016—and there were signs—but, alas, not open. I suppose this could make some kind of sense. Most passengers are leaving early on tours. They go directly to the buses (but when they return, they like to shop!). So, the terminal appears to be a waste. But, the Chinese are, never-the-less, quite proud of it.
Before exiting the ship, there was time to play in the snow! The Indonesian crew—inexperienced with snow—were anxious to build a snowman, make snow angels, throw snowballs. They did it all! The aft deck was covered in at least 2 inches of snow. More than enough for some winter fun!
Trying to stay out of the cold, Rog & I took the ship’s shuttle to a local mall. Imagine our surprise to find the current advertising theme was: HAPPY SPRING! How ironic.
Anyway, because we have pictures from prior visits, I’m posting them to give you an idea of the beauty of this nation. I’ve included The Great Wall and Forbidden City in Beijing. Also, views of Tianjin’s Ancient Culture Street, Nanshi Food Street, Haihe River and just some general street views. You are reminded to imagine snow, wind and people bundled up in parkas!
After 2 days of shivering, we look forward to heading South. Late this evening, we’ll head back out to the Yellow Sea and continue our journey. Next stop is Shanghai!