The first international cruise ship to resume service post-pandemic, Explorer Dream, departed from Keelung Port today (26th), kicking off the launch of island-hopping cruises in Taiwan. To ensure pandemic prevention operations and travel quality, the Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB) invited the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, CIQS related units, Taiwan International Ports Corporation, and public health experts to conduct onboard inspections and pandemic prevention drills on July 23rd. During the cruise operation period, random inspections will be conducted to check the implementation status of pandemic prevention measures to ensure the protection of passenger health. Additionally, for different offshore island tours, the MPB has invited offshore island local governments, cruise operators, and travel agencies to discuss the planning of tour routes and local transportation, thereby ensuring the quality of service during the tours. In the future, the MPB will meet with related units and operators to continue cultivating island hopping tours to usher in a new era for maritime tourism.
On the day of the maiden voyage, Genting Cruise Lines hosted the maiden voyage press conference at which the company expressed special thanks to the Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-Chung, the Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-Lung, Legislators Tsai Shih-Ying and Lee Kun-Tse, and Mayor of Keelung Lin Yu-Chang. Genting Cruise Lines also thanked the experts, including Chen Hsiu-Hsi, deputy dean of the National Taiwan University School of Public Health, and other VIPs from CIQS for attending, and expressed appreciation toward all public and private entities involved for their assistance in creating a new page for Taiwan’s pandemic prevention efforts.
The Explorer Dream offers 31 different island-hopping tours. Of these 31 tours, the destinations include Penghu, Matsu, and Kinmen. The public will be able to see the natural ecology and unique culture and history of the offshore islands and experience the annual Penghu Fireworks Festival, the unique battlefield history of Kinmen, and the internationally known Blue Tears of Matsu. Because of these tours, every travel need of the visitors will be satisfied and they will develop a deeper understanding of the beauty of Taiwan’s oceans.
All the food, daily necessities, and supplies for the island-hopping tours are purchased locally in Taiwan, making the fresh produce, animal products, and seafood the highlight of the cruises. On the day of the maiden voyage, Genting Cruise Lines partnered with the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, to present and promote Taiwan’s top 100 local agricultural products. In their presentation, they promoted exquisite agricultural products from around Taiwan and showed their support for the agricultural industries affected by the pandemic through real actions. The MPB hopes that island-hopping cruises will revitalize the cruise related industries in Taiwan and increase the number of visitors to offshore islands, and ultimately create more business opportunities for the troubled tourism market while contributing to the recovery of Taiwan’s economy.
Contact person: Maritime Affairs Division Section Chief Tu Wen-Yun
Contact number: 02-897828020