TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's first island-hopping cruise set sail from Keelung Harbor at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday (July 26) for a four-day cruise to the islands of Penghu and Matsu.
Hong-Kong-based Genting Cruise Lines (雲頂香港有限公司) held a press conference to celebrate. The event was attended by Taiwan's Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) and Central Epidemic Commander Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中).
In his address, Lin said that the island-hopping cruise tours will enable the public to gain a better understanding of Taiwan. Lin went on to say that while 2023 was intended to be Taiwan's "Island Hopping Year," the campaign has been launched earlier due to the pandemic.
The minister said that the cruise industry benefits the local economy and will become important to national policy-making in the future, adding that how the nation handles the cruise industry in the pandemic will be noticed worldwide, since "[Taiwan's] every move is setting a precedent." He revealed that the CECC had been checking on the cruise ship's pandemic prevention measures in the past few days.
The CECC head said that he was excited to see the cruise industry provide Taiwanese the opportunity to see the beauty of the country from the sea, which they should do at least once in their life.
Genting's Explorer Dream, with its 1,200 passengers, was scheduled to leave Keelung Harbor at 6 p.m. on Sunday for a 4-day and 3-night voyage to the islands of Penghu and Matsu. The next cruise, also served by Explorer Dream, will take passengers to the islands of Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu.