TIPC Goes Full Throttle to Build the Penghu Archipelago into the Region’s Latest Cruise Vacation Destination
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Taiwan International Ports Corporation,Ltd.
The Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC) is taking strong and proactive measures to promote the Penghu Archipelago in the Taiwan Strait as a travel destination for international cruise ship travelers. Apart from raising the number of passengers handled through Penghu’s Magong Port, increasing the number of cruise ship passenger arrivals is critical to the long-term, sustained growth of the Penghu tourism sector. Currently, in addition to executives from Star Cruises, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean (RCCL), who have already made visits to the archipelago, executives from other cruise ship operators currently operating in Taiwan, including the luxury cruise liner Nippon Maru, have also visited the Jinlongtou Port Development Area as well as some of the islands’ best-known attractions. These visits are helping cruise ship operators better appreciate port facilities and potential land-based itineraries as a next step forward in their plans for future calls in Penghu, which is crucial to putting Magong Port on the map as an international cruise-vacation port of call.
The unique scenic, cultural, and culinary enticements of the Penghu Archipelago brought RCCL’s Legend of the Seas to Magong Port in July carrying 1,312 from Xiamen in Mainland China. At nearly 70,000MT, the Legend of the Seas broke all records as the largest vessel yet to call at Magong. Further, since July 24th (through November 1st), Star Cruises’ Libra has been offering 3 day / 2 night cruises to the Penghus and 6 day / 5 night cruise vacations to Japan’s Miyako-jima and Naha in Okinawa Prefecture from its mother port of Xiamen. The long-weekend (Friday - Sunday) schedule for Libra’s Xiamen - Penghu - Xiamen cruise includes a land tour that visits Penghu’s famously sunny beaches, scenic landmarks, and several of the locations used in the 2015 Taiwanese film “All You Need is Love”.
In related news, a major international cruise ship operator is currently discussing with TIPC plans for developing a dedicated cruise-liner wharf at Penghu’s Jinlongtou Harbor. This interest is sparking hopes that the private sector may become an active partner in ensuring the world-class development and management of Penghu’s cruise ship handling / reception infrastructure. In the years ahead, the maturing of the cruise vacation sectors in Hong Kong, the Penghu Archipelago, Taiwan, and Eastern China should make the East China Sea / Taiwan Strait area an increasingly popular region for cruise ship travel and create a win-win situation for all involved.