Sokcho is a major port city in South Korea's Gangwon-do province, with a population of around 90,000. The seaport is located on the Sea of Japan and in the province's far northeastern corner. Due to its proximity to North Korea, today the city is mainly visited by tourists attracted by the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) - the 1953-established no man's land (length 250 km / 160 mi) that runs across the peninsula to separate North from South Korea. Among the Korean tourists, Sokcho is best-known as the gateway to the Seoraksan Maintain (highest elevation point 1708 m / 5604 ft).
The city is also well-known for its numerous food districts. Foodtown is a 2-block restaurant area in downtown dedicated mainly to tourists wishing to sample the local cuisine specialties. Foodtown also has karaoke bars and restaurants with singing rooms. The annual Seorak Cultural Festival (held in October) features live entertainment, street parades, stage shows, fun contests, and races.
Currently, South Korea has 4 cruise ports with all 5 international passenger terminals - one in Sokcho, one in Incheon, one in Busan, two in Jeju. In 2017, the port upgraded its passenger terminal facilities to handle larger vessels. In September 2018, the cruise port was visited by Costa Fortuna. In 2019 was planned a call from Quantum of the Seas (Royal Caribbean), but the visit was later canceled.
On May 11, 2018, Port Sokcho welcomed its ever-largest cruise ship - Costa Serena (LOA length 289 m / 948 ft, max passengers 3600 plus 1100 crew). Pierside celebrations for the maiden call of Costa Serena were attended by the ship's Captain and VIP guests. From Sokcho the ship visited call ports Vladivostok, Muroran, Hakodate, and Busan.