The third Rainbow Warrior, the flagship of the Greenpeace environmental protection group, arrived at Keelung Harbor yesterday morning, and will allow people to board on Saturday and Sunday.
The vessel will then sail to Greater Tainan’s Anping Harbor (安平) where visitors will be allowed on the ship the following weekend.
The vessel docked in Keelung yesterday morning, and was welcomed by a performance of the Eight Generals (八家將) dance, a ritual usually seen at religious events to pray for blessing and to guard against evil.
About 20 volunteers and crew from 15 different countries are on the ship; one volunteer from Taiwan has been on the vessel since last month.
Greenpeace in Taiwan said the Rainbow Warrior has been at the forefront of environmental protection since the original ship took to the seas in 1978.
This vessel was scuttled after being severely damaged in a bombing in 1985 before it was due to try to disrupt French nuclear tests in the Pacific. It was replaced by a second ship, which visited Taiwan in 2011 and was retired that year, to be replaced by the current vessel.
Fung Ka-keung (馮家強), regional development director at Greenpeace East Asia, said that since the organization established its office in Taiwan three years ago, it has found many Taiwanese have a strong awareness of environmental issues and work hard to protect the environment, despite government policies frequently not living up to the public’s expectations.
The group said the new ship is eco-friendly, with features including a hull designed specifically for superior energy-efficiency, biological treatment of sewage and gray water, environmentally friendly paint and an electric drive system that can be powered by wind.
It is scheduled to remain at Keelung Harbor for seven days and will be open to visitors between 8am and 6pm this weekend before sailing to Anping Harbor.