Foreign cruise liner arrives in Kinmen on 1st Taiwan tour

Taipei, A British-owned cruise ship carrying 88 international passengers arrived in the offshore island group of Kinmen on Monday, as part of its first-ever tour of Taiwan and its outlying islands.

The 88 travelers arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Friday before boarding the cruise vessel Caledonian Sky, operated by U.K.-based travel company Noble Caledonia, at Keelung Harbor on Saturday and embarking on a nine-day tour of Taiwan and its outlying islands.

This is the first time a foreign travel company has offered such an itinerary, allowing travelers to not only visit Taiwan proper but also experience the rich battlefield landscapes and culture of Kinmen, according to the Kinmen County government.

The Caledonian Sky arrived at Kinmen's Shuitou Harbor on Monday, to a warm welcome from county government officials at a ceremony that featured a traditional Chinese lion dance.

One traveler said it was the first time he had seen a lion dance performance, praising it as a big tourist attraction.

During the ceremony, Lin Te-kung (???), secretary-general of Kinmen County government, presented a bottle of Kinmen Kaoliang liquor to Kakan Gustafsson, captain of the cruise ship.

Lin said the luxury cruise line service is expected to help raise the international profile of Kinmen and provide a significant boost to tourism.

Prices for the full cruise start from Pound 6,795 (US$9,485). After Kinmen, the ship will head to Magong, the largest city in the outlying county of Penghu, Anping Harbor in Tainan, Fugang Fishing Harbor in Taitung and Hualien Harbor. After completing the Taiwan portion of the trip, the liner starts a four-day tour of Japan, according to the cruise operator.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel