Driver, port to Beijing airport

By Betty Tronson
This item appears on page 14 of the June 2013 issue.

Getting from the port at Tianjin, China, where the cruise ships dock, to the airport in Beijing several hours away can be quite a challenge. The port, itself, is 45 minutes from Tianjin. 

Cruise lines offer transfers, but they can be expensive. Cab drivers are sparse at the port, and many do not speak English. 

For our transfer on March 16, 2013, from the Seven Seas Voyager to the Beijing airport, my husband, Keith, and I emailed for advice from Liu Xue Jin of the Capital Automobile Company (mobile phone 13901097665 or email We had hired Mr. Liu as a driver two years earlier at the recommendation of friends who had taken a tour with him. 

Knowledgeable and very professional, Mr. Liu speaks fluent English. He offered to drive us from the port to Beijing for $300, which included all tolls. This was less than the price quoted by Regent Seven Seas Cruises.  

We wanted to be picked up at 7:30 a.m. Mr. Liu had done some research on traffic and weather and selected the fastest route. He drove to Tianjin the night before, staying at a hotel near the port, at his own expense, so he would not be late.

We had been told by ship personnel that the trip took over four hours. Hearing that, and with the uncertainties of traffic and fog, which is a problem in that area, some passengers had left for the airport a day earlier. With Mr. Liu, we made it in a little over three hours, including a 10-minute delay due to a minor accident we encountered.

Along the long drive was a number of roadblocks where credentials, licenses, etc., were checked. Mr. Liu had the necessary paperwork and license and we were never detained. 

We would not hesitate to recommend Mr. Liu for either transfers or tours.


Sacramento, CA