Chinese game making waves with global players

By Erik Nilsson ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-11-01 07:40:21
Chinese game making waves with global players

Not only is mahjong making waves overseas - a growing number of Westerners are playing the Chinese game on the seas.

Mahjong is literally sailing around the world, as more North American, European and Australian players belly up to mahjong boards aboard "mahjong cruises".

The concept mingles typical luxury-cruise amenities with as much mahjong as those aboard wish to play, often within a tournament format.

"Nothing beats the combination of all the shopping, dining, pampering, cruising and mahjong you can fit into one week," Mah Jongg Madness Tournaments and Cruises president Gladys Grad says.

Some players have joined the US company's annual anniversary cruise for 25 of the 29 years since Mah Jongg Madness' maiden voyage, she says.

This year's anniversary cruise from Dec 6-14 will set out aboard a Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas mega-liner from Fort Lauderdale. It will coast to the ports of Philipsburg, Sint Maarten; Basseterre, Saint Kitts; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and the private peninsula port of Labadee, Haiti.

The company has from the start partnered with the United States' National Mah Jongg League, one of the game's foremost institutions in the country.

The comparably pre-eminent American Mah Jongg Association has also run progressively popular cruises since 1998.

"The idea for the cruise tournament came about because it is a fun vacation with lots of time to play mahjong," the association's president Zesa Madow explains. "It's a good blend because, on the sea days, it gives us lovers of mahjong much time to play the tournament."

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