Royal Caribbean finalizes Taiwan port deal

By Tom Stieghorst
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) has agreed to co-develop a cruise port in Taiwan with the Taiwan International Ports Co.

The port would be the first to be developed in Asia by RCCL, although it also has a stake in the company that operates the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong.

In a statement, Royal Caribbean said its nonbinding memorandum of understanding is for a site that currently serves as a Taiwanese Navy and Coast Guard facility.

"The island, which has good infrastructure but is relatively underdeveloped for tourism, offers beautiful beaches, ancient culture, natural beauty and great local seafood cuisine,” the statement said.

In an article in the Taipei Times, RCCL's vice president of commercial development, John Tercek, said that one of the main reasons Penghu was chosen is that it is convenient to Hong Kong and Xiamen, two base ports.

Earlier this year, Hong Kong and Taiwan founded a regional cruise development fund that will pay cruise lines that visit two or more participating ports in a single itinerary.

RCCL and Taiwan International Ports Co. plan to spend $33 million to develop a pier for the first phase of the project, scheduled to open in 2016, the Taipei Times said.

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly. 
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