The Royal Caribbean International cruise liner Voyager of the Seas is scheduled to depart from Keelung Port tomorrow on its first trip from Taiwan this year.
The vessel is one of the largest in the Asian cruise market and docked at the Keelung Port for the first time in August last year.
Royal Caribbean’s Taiwanese agent said passengers were embarking on a six-day journey, sailing past Jeju Province in South Korea and Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan.
Because tomorrow is Mother’s Day, all the berths on the cruise have been booked, the company said.
The liner is also scheduled to depart from Keelung on a separate cruise on Friday next week, stopping at Busan, South Korea, and Nagasaki in Japan.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has been promoting cruise tourism from Keelung, which it says has the potential to become a major Asian destination for cruise ships.
The ministry said it hopes that cruises would bring more international tourists to the nation.
Data provided by the ministry showed that Keelung Port welcomed approximately 460,000 cruise ship passengers last year.
The ministry estimated the number of passengers could exceed 500,000 this year.
Teresa Lu (呂麗齡), president of Royal Caribbean Cruises in Taiwan, said that the nation was chosen as an operational base in view of the rising purchasing power of Asian tourists and the relatively weaker economic forecasts for Europe and North America.
Voyager of the Seas can carry 3,840 people.