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Taiwan urged to resume domestic cruises

Cruises operated by Genting had been very popular: Keelung mayor

Taiwan urged to resume domestic cruises

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Since Taiwan’s domestic cruises have been suspended for half a year, Keelung Mayor Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) on Wednesday (Dec. 1) urged the country to find a balance between the economy and disease prevention and resume the cruises.

Lin said the cruises, run by Dream Cruises with the Explorer Dream cruise ship, had been very popular, and he thanked the cruise line for using Keelung as its base of operations, CNA reported.

Noting that the country has gone nearly a month without a local COVID-19 case, the mayor said the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) should be able to strike a balance between the economy and disease prevention. He urged the CECC to reopen island-hopping and around-the-island cruises, the report said.

The Hong Kong-based parent company of Dream Cruises, Genting Cruise Lines, said in a statement that the Explorer Dream’s idleness has cost the company NT$120 million (US$4.33 million) a month, which has added up to NT$720 million over the past six months.

The cruise line said it has submitted a plan for resuming the operation of the Explorer Dream to the CECC for approval. The plan includes guidance for cleaning and disinfection on the ship as well as requirements for the crew and passengers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to the statement, the CECC has not given a clear response or delivered instructions. It takes at least one month for the ships to prepare to set sail after getting the green light. The uncertainly has caused the company to reassess the Explorer Dream’s viability in Asia, as more and more countries and regions elsewhere reopen their cruise industries, Genting said.

The company pleaded with the CECC to provide a clear schedule for reopening the cruises and related guidance as soon as possible.

Updated : 2022-01-20 05:09 GMT+08:00