CruiseAfter a seven-month cruise hiatus in Taiwan, Dream Cruises reinstates its widely acclaimed Super Seacation out of Keelung with much fanfare.

Dream Cruises’ Explorer Dream calls Taiwan home once again

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Explorer Dream is the first cruise ship to resume service in Taiwan.
Explorer Dream is the first cruise ship to resume service in Taiwan. Photo Credit: Dream Cruises

Following a seven-month hiatus, Dream Cruises’ Explorer Dream resumed homeport deployment in Taiwan from 31 December, bringing back its Super Seacation itinerary.

On its inaugural sailing, Dream Cruises celebrated its fresh restart in Taiwan and rang in the new year with guests as they embarked on a two-night cruise that took them from Keelung to Hualian to catch the first sunrise over the horizon in 2022.

Lin Yu-chang, mayor of Keelung, turned up in person at the cruise terminal to greet Explorer Dream’s passengers of the inaugural sailing, and spoke of his support for the new safe cruising measures, which require all cruising guests to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and to undergo mandatory PCR testing.

It is hoped that the restart of Explorer Dream’s sailings will boost local tourism and spur the resumption of various operations within the industry. Andy Yau, general manager of Lion Travel Service Co. Ltd shared that “the pent-up demand for domestic travel in Taiwan has been on the rise” due to the “ongoing restrictions and uncertainties on international travel.”

“Cruise travel offers a real getaway journey to domestic destinations, complimented by the offerings of a floating resort at sea that provides total peace of mind with stringent preventive measures that exceed the usual standards on land, which can cater to those who are looking for a truly hassle-free and worry-free holiday,” Yau added.

Not Dream Cruises’ first rodeo

Initially, the Explorer Dream was the first cruise ship to resume service in Taiwan beginning July 2020, welcoming over 90,000 guests in a period of 11 months. It is also the first to resume cruising in Asia, boasting a record of zero Covid-19 related incidents.

However, due to the local Covid-19 outbreak in May 2021, Taiwan suspended domestic cruising. Since then, Dream Cruises has been working closely alongside the Taiwan government bodies to establish safety protocols for guests and crew upon resumption of the country’s cruise sector.

According to Sally Riu, vice president – sales, Taiwan of Dream Cruises, she attributes the successful relaunch of Explorer Dream’s Super Seacation itineraries to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Ministry of Health and Welfare which provided “advice and guidance over the past months to ensure that stringent preventive measures and health protocols are in place for safe cruising”.

Riu also shares that Explorer Dream has an exciting pipeline of thematic sailings which include “the Lunar New Year celebrations and the widely acclaimed Around the World on Dream Cruises series, featuring an immersive experience of food, culture and snap-worthy decorations that are inspired by popular travel destinations”.

Dream Cruises thinks safety

Along with the new mandate for all passengers to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to departure and to present a negative PCR test at the cruise terminal, guests are also required to download the ‘Taiwan Social Distance’ App and keep their Bluetooth on throughout their seacation for contact-tracing purposes.

Since its initial restart back in 2020, the Explorer Dream has implemented a set of measures to ensure the safety of its cruisers — the ship’s capacity has been reduced, providing more space for social distancing; 100% external fresh air is filtered and supplied throughout the ship; comprehensive sanitisation and disinfection is frequently conducted throughout the ship; and safe food and beverage handling procedures are practised at all times.

Additionally, there’s a 24-hour medical care facility on board Explorer Dream that is managed by a team of doctor and nurses, with isolation wards and a number of test instruments that can detect infectious diseases including Covid-19 within the span of 20 minutes.

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