The Ten Year (2021-2030) Blue Highway Development Plan reflects a nationwide effort to implement both the Presidential directive to solidify Taiwan’s foundations as a sustainable ocean nation and the Executive Yuan’s “Ocean Taiwan” initiative. Plan goals include the improvement of shipping services, upgrade of port infrastructures, promotion of ocean tourism, and increase of container transshipment volumes. Port infrastructure improvement items include the strategic repositioning and development of Penghu Port’s Magong District in the Penghu Archipelago as a model offshore-island port of call for cruise ships up to 75,000 gross tons.
Wharf 1 in Magong District, which is 190m in length and has a maintained water depth of -7m, is currently able to handle cruise ships up to 50,000 gross weight tons in size. To meet Blue Highway Development Plan goals, this wharf will be expanded to 320m in length and -9m in water depth. In addition, an international passenger terminal building will be constructed on land adjacent to the wharf to house official customs, immigration, quarantine and security (CIQS) services, duty free retailers, and passenger waiting facilities. Plans for these projects have already been written into the Overall Development and Construction Plans for Taiwan’s International Commercial Ports (2022-2026). A public invitation to bid has been issued on the Wharf 1 expansion project, budgeted at NT$710 million, with work expected to begin in November of this year (2021). A public invitation to bid for the passenger terminal project, with an expected planned budget of NT$230 million, should be announced in May 2022. Both projects should be completed and ready for regular use by the close of 2023.
The Ten Year (2021-2030) Blue Highway Development Plan is critical to shaping Taiwan’s future national shipping policy. The completion of related project work in Magong District will significantly increase the safety and convenience to cruise lines of making calls in the Penghu Archipelago, improve port cruise-ship service capabilities, and raise passenger service quality. This in turn can be expected to expand the domestic cruise travel market, enhance the overall attractiveness of cruise travel, encourage cruise-ship operators to make island-hopping calls in Taiwan, increase cruise passenger spending on offshore islands, and increase related tourism sector value and job opportunities, turning Penghu Archipelago cruise travel into a model cruise vacation success story.