MS Nautica arrived in Port of Keelung today (March 11th) at 07:00 am, marking the third post-pandemic cruise ship call to the port (following the concurrent visits on March 7th of Holland America Line’s MS Westerdam and Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer) as well as the first post-pandemic homeport call by an international cruise ship in Taiwan. Before Taiwan’s reopening to international cruise ships, the Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC) coordinated closely with CIQS authorities, shipping agents, port service providers, and travel agencies to ensure smooth operations and make necessary upgrades to signage in the port’s passenger terminals.
MS Nautica’s voyage started from Singapore and made calls in Malaysia, the Philippines, Kaohsiung, and Hualien before visiting Keelung. It visited three ports in Taiwan in the same itinerary which is a rare situation. The cruise ship tied up at Port of Keelung West Dock Wharf No. 3 at 07:00 in the morning today, and is scheduled to depart for Naha (Okinawa) at 17:00. Around half (260) of the 500 passengers will conclude their voyages on MS Nautica in Keelung and depart Taiwan by plane after completing their local tour itineraries. In Keelung, the ship will take on a new complement of 230 passengers from 13 countries, including the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia, 150 of them have already spent two nights in Taiwan on a package tour arranged by Lion Travel. Also, two Taiwanese passengers will board MS Nautica in Keelung Port and join the journey to Naha. According to the statistics, 270 passengers of MS Nautica will have arrived and departed Keelung by ship, while 500 will have either arrived in or departed Taiwan as “fly-cruise” passengers.
According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), fly-cruise passengers generate for the host country an average of US$385.41 in economic benefit based on their longer duration “in port” and additional expenditures on airfare, hotel accommodations, and local purchases. This is significantly more than the US$99.82 in average economic benefit generated by passengers who arrive and depart by ship. The high percentage of fly-cruise passengers on MS Nautica implies this visit is providing even more in terms of economic benefit than most cruise ship calls. Port of Keelung’s improvements in infrastructure and ground transportation links and the integration of local tourism resources are making the city an increasingly popular cruise destination. Unlike many port cities in East and Southeast Asia, Port of Keelung is located in downtown Keelung City and just a short walk or drive away from cultural areas and scenic attractions. Based on this, cruise ship lines are increasingly looking at Port of Keelung as a starting or ending point for Asia regional cruise routes.
MS Nautica is owned and operated by Oceania Cruises, a subsidiary of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH). The fee on this luxury class cruise ship is up to US$400 per night on average for voyages that typically lasts at least 10 days. Opening the option of using choosing Port of Keelung as a start / end point for a voyage adds to Taiwan’s image as an attractive tourism destination and tourism revenues a positive effect while giving travelers access to more cost-effective, high-end cruise travel opportunities. TIPC is committed to further integrating local and national resources to build a “National Team” perspective and attract more cruise line routes to the Taiwan.
Provided by：Stevedoring & Warehousing Dept., Port of Keelung, TIPC
Contact Person：Peter Fu, Director