Virus Outbreak: Island-hopping cruise departs Keelung

ASIA FIRST: The government had hoped for a world first, but a German cruise liner left Hamburg on Friday night on a weekend ‘trip to nowhere’ in the North Sea

Taipei Times
Date: Jul 27, 2020
By: Lin Hsin-han and Hsiao Yu-hsin / Staff reporters

A crew member yesterday wears a mask and a face shield to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he works in the canteen on the Explorer Dream in Keelung.
Photo: Ann Wang, Reuters

The Explorer Dream (探索夢號) cruise ship yesterday set sail from Keelung Port on a four-day trip to Penghu and Kinmen in a first for the cruise industry in Asia since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and only the second such excursion worldwide.

A German vessel, the TUI’s Mein Schiff 2, set sail from Hamburg late on Friday night on a three-night North Sea cruise, beating Taiwan to the industry bragging rights.

Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) attended a news conference in Keelung to launch the Explorer Dream’s voyage.

Chen, who also heads the nation’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said that while people want to travel abroad, easing the nation’s travel restrictions must be done cautiously and “step by step.”    [FULL  STORY]

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