Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning 2024

92 REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT: ASIA Setouchi, Japan Composed mainly of the areas encircling Japan’s Seto Inland Sea, the Setouchi region is no stranger to travel by boat. When it comes to international cruises, ports on Japan’s main island like Kobe and Hiroshima are able to handle larger vessels. Additionally, there are also a few others like Matsuyama on the outer side of Shikoku that can also welcome big cruise liners. In addition to these bigger ships, there is also a vast network of ferries that connect the myriad of islands on the Seto Inland Sea. The region also has some more leisurely options like the Sea Spica which will take you to a number of islands. Hualien, Taiwan In the eastern reaches of Taiwan lies the enchanting Hualien County, a land of natural wonders and cultural riches. Among its many treasures, Taroko National Park reigns supreme, boasting majestic peaks, marble canyons, and picturesque trails. Beyond, the county’s heritage is a tapestry of indigenous communities, each with their own languages, arts, and customs. The Amis, Bunun, and Taroko tribes are a few of the vibrant threads woven into the fabric of Hualien’s identity, and delving into their music, dance, and traditions is a journey into the very soul of the land. The Port of Hualien stands ever ready to welcome the curious traveller to the region. Keelung, Taiwan Located at the northeast corner of Taiwan, Keelung Port, also known as ‘rain port’, is well connected to the rest of the island, with Taiwan’s capital Taipei only a 30-minute drive away. The port is surrounded by mountains on three sides and facing the sea on one side, so it often gives people a damp and misty impression, but it exudes a poetic and picturesque atmosphere. After the expansion of the East Cruise Terminal, the facility can accommodate cruise ships of 150,000gt. The West Cruise Terminal is a testament to the ages, standing proud with a rich legacy of nine decades, and after a recent renovation it can now accommodate cruise ships of up to 250,000gt. Photo: Setouchi Tourism Photo: Hualien County Government