A cruise ship carrying 500 passengers sailed past the port of Hualien, and will sail directly to Keelung Harbor, after the captain of the vessel decided that high winds and swells made it unsafe to enter the port.
The Seven Seas Mariner was scheduled to dock at the Port of Hualien at 7:00 am today, March 13. However, sustained winds of level 6 to 7 on the Beaufort Scale, gusts up to Beaufort-scale 10, and swells of 3 to 4 meters affected the east coast port this morning. Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau issued a strong wind warning for coastal areas yesterday, and large swell warnings for northern coastal waters this morning, as the influence of a continental cold air mass and northeasterly winds created adverse weather conditions.
The operators of 16 tour buses, taxi drivers, and tour guides waiting at the port were disappointed after watching the 216-meter-long, 48,075-ton luxury cruise ship approach the port one hour behind schedule only to see it turn north and sail by.
The Seven Seas Mariner was to be the second of nine cruise ships scheduled to visit the Port of Hualien this year after a three-year hiatus due to a ban imposed at the early stages of the global COVID hysteria, February 9, 2020.
Local businesses welcomed the first cruise ship to visit the tourism-dependent city last Friday, March 10, when the 30,000-ton Nautica, carrying 539 passengers visited the port.
The Seven Seas Mariner departed Hong Kong on March 11, was due to visit Hualien March 12, before sailing on to Keelung March 14. The all-suite, all-balcony cruise ship will then dock in Kaohsiung March 15 before a two-day cruise of the South China Sea and a visit to Halong Bay, Vietnam.
The next cruise ship scheduled to visit the Port of Hualien is the Westerdam which is due April 1.
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