Well, the false travel experience of going abroad may not be valid now amidst the global pandemic situation. So, ‘when you can’t go outward, turn inward,’ – this seems to hold true for Taiwan as well! The island nation came to the rescue of wanderlusts by launching its first island-hopping cruise, which set sail on 26 July from Keelung Harbour. This four-day cruise journey to the islands of Penghu and Matsu, is aimed at giving a chance to the Taiwanese to go homebound and know more about the beautiful natural escapes.
The maiden voyage of the Explorer Dream cruise ship, from the house of Hong-Kong-based Genting Cruise Line, presented the opportunity to 1,200 passengers to unwind and rejuvenate while they enjoyed all the luxuries of the cruise liner. From Penghu’s spectacular fireworks display to visiting the military tunnels of Matsu, the cruise offers a novel experience of Taiwan’s outlying islands.
2023 was slated to be Taiwan’s ‘Island Hopping Year’. However, the campaign has been launched now due to the pandemic. To provide exhilarating options to the Taiwanese to travel, about 30 island-hopping trips are being planned over the next three months, with special itineraries for outlying Kinmen County and eastern Taiwan’s Hualien County.
Cruising – a good deal
Taiwan has been proactively undertaking epidemic prevention measures via ‘eightfold prevention and control protection,’ strict health and education management and disinfection procedures. The Explore Dream cruise ship carried half the original number of passengers onboard, with passengers having had to maintain a safe social distance. In addition to ensuring the safety of the passengers through onboard epidemic prevention measures, promotional discounts toward purchases at local shops and admissions to the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology are being given to the vacationers.
For the sea-lovers, cruise trips come as a boon in the post-pandemic life and for those looking forward to a new experience, cruising surely is a better deal than travelling by air. Taiwanese consumers have an appealing option to visit the domestic islands while maintaining a safe distance and not bothering about housing, traffic congestion, or lodging. This initiative has established a new model of cruise travel under the aegis of ‘safe travel’!