Keelung Mayor urges Taiwan to restart domestic cruises

   December 8, 2021 ,   Cruise Industry

Since domestic cruises in Taiwan have been suspended for half a year, Keelung City's Mayor Lin Yu-chang last week urged the country to find a balance between disease prevention and economy and restart cruising.

According to the Mayor, the roundtrip voyages operated by MS Explorer Dream had been very popular. He thanked the cruise company for using the port of Keelung (Taipei City, Taiwan) as its base of operations.

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

Genting Cruise Lines (Hong Kong-based parent company of Dream Cruises) said in a statement that the idleness of the Explorer Dream ship had cost the company ~NT$120 million (USD 4,33 million) per month, which had added up to NT$720 million over the past 6 months.

The cruise company said it had submitted a plan for restarting the operation of Explorer Dream to the CECC for approval. The plan features guidance for cleaning and disinfection on the cruise ship as well as requirements for the crew members and passengers to be fully vaccinated against COVID.

According to the statement, the CECC had not given a clear response or delivered instructions. It takes nearly a month for the cruise ships to prepare to set sail after receiving the green light. The uncertainty caused the line to reassess Explorer Dream’s viability in Asia, as more countries and regions elsewhere reopen their industries, Genting revealed.

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