While countries around the wolrd are easing travel bans, Taiwan has resumed ocean-cruise services. The country is being globally praised for its actions to curb the virus spread and has now come to the rescue of travellers by resuming its island-hopping cruise after the pandemic brought the industry to a halt.
The resumption of the cruise comes as part of the government’s efforts to revive a badly hit tourism industry. Taiwan had closed its borders since March and had advised citizens against overseas travel. It is slowly opening up and the cruise is expected to have a catapult effect.
Around 900 holidaymakers in the country are adapting to new safety measures while boarding Genting Hong Kong’s Explorer Dream starting from Taiwan’s Keelung Port. The company is offering five-day trips from Taiwan to the scenic outlying islands of Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu.
The ship will carry only a third of its maximum passenger limit and has been transformed to meet new safety needs. In-cruise casinos, spa and buffet centres have been cancelled and turned into 22 COVID-19 wards to isolate passengers if any fall ill.
The 500-member crew underwent 21-day health screening before coming on board for the first time in months, with timely check-ups to follow. All front-line service staff wear masks and gloves and maintain social distancing norms. Passengers must follow the safety guidelines handed by the crew and will have their temperatures checked before boarding.
Taiwan was successful in handling the pandemic well with only 480 confirmed cases to date.