One by one, international cruise lines have returned to Asia with
their first ship calls since the pandemic, bringing a resurgence of
cruise activities and arrivals to popular port destinations such as
Boracay Island, Keelung Port, and Sokcho.
Hong Kong's Kai Tak Cruise Terminal welcomed the resumption of
international ship calls with inaugural calls from both Resort World One
and Mein Schiff 5 last week. Resort World Cruises has also chosen Hong
Kong as its homeport operations for its Resorts World One vessel.
the Philippines, Boracay Island on 3 March welcomed the maiden port
call of MS Westerdam, operated by Holland America, following an earlier
port call by MS Seabourn Encore in February. MS Westerdam's 14-day
cruise from Singapore to Yokohama between 27 February to 13 March
included stops at several ports in Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan,
Meanwhile, MS Westerdam's arrival in Yokohama on 13 March also marked
Holland America Line's return to Japan after a three-year gap. The ship
offered a series of 11- to 14-day cruises to different ports in Japan,
as well as ports of call in Taiwan and South Korea.
South Korea's Sokcho also welcomed the Amadea from Phoenix Reisen on
13 March, marking the first international cruise ship to call at a port
in the country since the pandemic began in 2020. The Amadea is currently
on a world cruise that started in France at the end of 2023, with stops
in the Caribbean, French Polynesia, and Asia before concluding in
Villefranche on 22 May.
Keelung Port, near Taipei in northern Taiwan, also saw the return of
international cruise liners since the cruise ban was lifted in October
2022. The Seven Seas Explorer from Regent Seven Seas Cruises and the MS
Westerdam from Holland America Line carried 600 and 1,700 passengers,
Keelung Port is scheduled to handle about 280,000 passengers from 72
international cruises this year, generating an estimated revenue of NT$1
billion (US$32.6 million) in the Greater Taipei and Keelung area.
In Taiwan's south, Kaohsiung will soon become a destination and
homeport for the Hong Kong-Taiwan sailings on Resorts World One
launching in April.