Taiwan’s Port of Hualien welcomes this year’s first international cruise ship

A total of 10 international cruise ships are scheduled to make a stopover at Port of Hualien in 2019

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Westerdam

Westerdam (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The Port of Hualien in eastern Taiwan on Monday welcomed Westerdam, the first international cruise ship to call at the harbor this year.

Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC) greeted 1,909 international guests arriving on Westerdam with aboriginal songs and dances at the port, and introduced them to local snacks as well as cultural and creative products, Central News Agency (CNA) reported on Monday .

Westerdam is operated by the Holland America Line. The maiden voyage of the cruise ship took place in January 2014.

The 285m-long, 82,348-ton, 1,916-passenger cruise ship has 11 passenger accessible decks and can reach a maximum speed of 24 knots per hour.

Port of Hualien researcher Lin Qing-fu said that Westerdam’s original last port of call before arriving at Hualien was Ishigaki, but the ship sailed directly from Okinawa to Hualien, probably because of interference from weather factors. The passengers would visit tourist attractions in Hualien, including Taroko National Park, before the ship headed for Port of Keelung at 5 p.m. on Monday.

Port official Chang Tzu-ying (張自英) said that Monday’s port of call was Westerdam’s first visit to Hualien, and that the ship will visit Hualien again on April 7. A total of 10 international cruise ships are scheduled to make a stopover at Hualien in 2019, Chang said.

(Photo by CNA)

A tourist takes a selfie with Amis tribespeople at the Port of Hualien March 11 in eastern Taiwan. (Photo courtesy of TIPC)

(Photo by CNA)