Taiwan’s first around-the-island cruise ship is scheduled to be launched at Keelung Port at the end of this year, the Maritime and Port Bureau said yesterday.
The luxury cruise ship Formosa Queen is to be operated by a Taiwanese shipping firm which was founded in April this year, the bureau said.
The 1,200-passenger capacity ship is scheduled to run from Keelung to Kaohsiung, Hualien or Taichung, travelling between ports via international waters, the bureau added.
The bureau said the shipping firm plans to make the ship a floating entertainment zone along the lines of Taipei City’s Xinyi District (信義) where passengers can shop, dine in restaurants, watch movies or hang out at a night club.
The ship was registered in Panama and will have a gaming zone as well, the firm said.
Aside from the Formosa Queen, the bureau said several cruise lines had talked with its officials about the possibility of launching new cruise ship services from Keelung Harbor, eyeing the potential for passenger growth in Asia.
Among them, the Panama-registered Oriental Dragon cruise ship, which belongs to Hong Kong’s Capital Dragon (Global) Ltd, launched its pilot service last month. The cruises are mainly offered to Taiwanese travelers heading to Okinawa or Ishigakijima in Japan.
Another Hong Kong operator, Profit Summit Deluxe Cruise, has submitted an application to offer cruises on similar routes.
Meanwhile, Star Cruise’s Superstar Aquarius will continue to offer tours to both Japanese destinations as well.