Mon, Jan 14, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Passengers arriving in Port of Keelung hit record number

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Passenger ships visit the Port of Keelung in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of the Port of Keelung, Taiwan International Ports Corp

The Port of Keelung last year received 1.06 million passengers, with strong growth in the number of cruise ship travelers from the Philippines, Taiwan International Ports Corp (TIPC, 台灣港務) statistics showed.

The number of cruise ship travelers to Keelung is expected to grow further this year, as four large cruise ships are scheduled to dock at the port this year, TIPC said.

They include the Explore Dream in March, Costa Venezia in April, World Dream in July and Le Laperouse in September.

TIPC statistics showed that the number of passengers arriving at the port grew by 13.47 percent to reach 1.06 million last year — a new record.

The figure also topped the number of passengers accessing the ports of Hualien, Taichung and Chiayi, the company said.

TIPC attributed the increase to strong growth in the number of travelers on international cruise ships, from about 830,000 in 2017 to 940,000 last year.

The biggest growth was in the number of cruise ship travelers from the Philippines, which rose by 23 percent to about 60,000 last year.

Princess Cruises and Star Cruises have expanded their operations in Keelung, TIPC said.

Princess Cruises has dispatched the Majestic Princess to serve passengers embarking from Keelung, with the occupancy rate expected to exceed 90 percent.

Meanwhile, Star Cruises is sending its largest cruise ship — the SuperStar Virgo — to operate tours to Japan and South Korea.

Passengers on the COSCO Star (中遠之星), a cross-strait ferry, also grew from about 29,000 in 2017 to 36,000 last year, TIPC said.

In the past, the majority of passengers on cross-strait ferries were Chinese tourists, but there has been an increase in Taiwanese traveling to China, TIPC said, adding that this shows that more travelers are considering sea travel.

However, the port saw a slight decrease in tourists visiting through the fly-cruise model, from about 42,000 in 2017 to 39,000 last year, the company said.

Cruise ship tours were in high demand among Taiwanese last year, and not many extra tickets could be sold to international tourists, TIPC said.

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