In views of the transport capacity of Taiwan ports, Kaohsiung City is unquestionably the largest container port in Taiwan (in terms of container throughput); however Port of Keelung is the largest passenger port in Taiwan (in terms of the number of inbound and outbound passengers).
Looking back the changes in the number of inbound and outbound passengers in all international commercial ports in Taiwan after 2008, the number of annual inbound and outbound passengers for Port of Keelung reaches over 80%. It shows that Port of Keelung is the leader in the passenger transport among the domestic ports.
Before acquainting with Port of Keelung, let us first take a preliminary study on the geographic environment of Port of Keelung.
Port of Keelung is located in the center of Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area. To the west are Yehliu in Wanli District, Jinshan, Shimen Cave, Baisha Bay, and Tamsui. To the east are Shuinan Cave, Jinguashi, Jiufen, Bitoujiao, Fulong Beach, and Sandiao Cape Lighthouse, and extending all the way to Yilan Area. Round-trip tour buses are available for passengers to take within the scenic areas.
Keelung is the starting point in the north of Taiwan’s Sun Yat-sen Freeway (National Freeway No. 1 , or commonly known as Freeway No. 1) and Formosa Freeway (National Freeway No. 3, or commonly known as Freeway No. 2). Take the National Freeway No. 1 and get off Keelung Exit to arrive to Port of Keelung. There are many national highway and bus routes that begin from Keelung and take the national highways to arrive Taipei City downtown in half an hour. Moreover, Keelung is the departure station for Taiwan Railway North-West Line and Taiwan Railway West Coast Main Line. Across from the West No. 2 Warehouse of Port of Keelung West Coast Passenger Building is the north entrance for Keelung Train Station, where provides convenient services for passengers arriving to Port of Keelung to the National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Taipei Train Station or to Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Office of the President, and Ximendin via transfer, or National Palace Museum as well as other famous Taipei scenic sites. Passengers arriving to Port of Keelung have more abundance of tourism options.
Moreover, Keelung City is also a place of rich tourism resources. For example, the famous “Keelung Miaokou Night Market” offers special snacks and night market culture of Taiwan. The “National Museum of Marine Science and Technology” is a place for enthusiasts of adventure and knowledge. “Ho-Ping Island Hi-Park” meets your interests in special geological landscape and historic relics at the same time while the sea-water swimming pool of the park allows you to splash about. What’s more, the largest fish market in northern Taiwan, “Kanziding Fish Market,” the Bisha Fishing Port, fort relics, temple architecture and natural “Xiandongyen Sea Cave,” “Cave of Buddha’s Hands,” “Waimu Mountain,” and “Badou Zi,” are places that exhibit the specific customs of Keelung. The Keelung City Government also designs multiple municipal bus routes to meet the traveling demand of passengers. The rich and diverse specialties such as “Pineapple Pastry,” “Nougat,” “Squid Sauce,” “Seafood Sauce,” “Crispy Rice Cakes,” “Taro Ball,” “Sausage in Squid,” are all the must-try specialties when visiting Keelung.
In terms of geographic shape, Port of Keelung is a funnel-shaped natural port that expands northward from the south, putting out to sea and heading north. To describe the scope of Port of Keelung in terms of driving hours, driving from the Keelung Harbor Plaza on the southernmost side of the port to the East Coast out-port (headed to National Taiwan Ocean University) or the West Coast out-port (headed to Baimiwong fort) will each take about 15 minutes of driving.
The Piers’ location setting in the port is coincidentally divided by the Keelung Harbor Plaza on the southernmost side into the East Bank and West Bank. The pier numbers are coded starting from the Piers closest to the Keelung Harbor Plaza, in ascending order to out-port. There is a total of 56 Piers, including Pier No. 1 to 22 of East Bank and Pier No. 1 to No. 33B of West Bank.
The pier locations of Port of Keelung are mainly divided under the policy of “focusing passengers in Inner port and cargo for out-ports.” It refers to the priority berthing given to the passenger vessels on the inner port area, which is located on the south of Port of Keelung and also the position closest to downtown Keelung City, National Freeway No. 1 – Keelung Exit, and Keelung Train Station. On contrary, cargo container, bulk cargo and general cargo as well as other commercial vessels shall berth by the out-port region of the port, which is more close to the position of estuary. Such division facilitates the solution with traffic problems for passengers arrival and departure from the port, and the promotion of passenger transport of Port of Keelung.
The Port of Keelung Passenger Terminal features the East Coast Passenger Building - Keelung Harbor Service Building, West No. 2 Warehouse, providing port services to passengers corresponding to the passenger vessels berthing at East Pier No. 2 to East Pier No. 4 and West Pier No. 2 to West Pier No. 3.
The passenger vessels berthing at Port of Keelung are primarily divided into scheduled and unscheduled vessels. In particular, scheduled vessels are further divided into domestic routes, Cross-Strait routes, and international routes. The domestic routes include the commute vessels navigating to Matsu –TAIMA STAR, TAI MA and HO FU EXPRESS (HO FU EXPRESS is a military leased vessel that is not open for public rides). The Cross-Strait Line consists mainly of commute vessels navigating to Xiamen – Cosco Star. Additionally, the international lines for scheduled passenger vessels currently consist of the SuperStar Aquarius of Star Cruise. Unscheduled passenger vessels mostly stay in Port of Keelung as Port of call while some vessels regard Port of Keelung as Hub. In the past unscheduled passenger vessels berthing in Port of Keelung include MINERVA, NAUTICA, CELEBRITY MILLENNIUM, SEVEN SEAS VOYAGER, Ocean Dream, CRYSTAL SYMPHONY, M/V Henna, Nippon Maru, Voyager of the Seas, Sapphire Princess, British Higgins, Diamond Princess, China Taishan, Victoria, Mariner of the Seas, CALEDONIAN SKY, PACIFIC VENUS, Legend of the Seas, SuperStar Virgo, MS Quantum of the Seas, Silver Discoverer, and MS Asuka II. The number of inbound passenger vessels is still increasing.
With regards to the classification of berthing piers, international routes of passenger vessels will be given priority in the berthing at the No. 2 to No.4 of East Pier and the No. 2 to No.4 of West Pier. Passenger vessels for Cross-Strait and domestic routes can berth at West Pier No. 2, West Pier No. 3. Also No.16 of the West Pier is often used for the largest passenger cruise ship.
Prior to 2013, there was only one duty free shop on the 1st floor of the East Coast Passenger Building in Port of Keelung that cooperated with the inbound and outbound cruise vessel schedule to offer optional purchases in duty free merchandise. As the cruise industry develops, Port of Keelung started to set up retail stores at the terminal since 2013 as an alternative choice for passengers. Nonetheless due to the smaller scale of store and few types of merchandises during the startup, the store interior design was also very simplistic. It was until mid-2015, three businesses including Easy Mart, hómee CAFÉ,and hómee KITCHEN stationed to the 1st and 2nd floor of Keelung Harbor Service Building - Port of Keelung East Coast Passenger Building, the terminal services in Port of Keelung become more comprehensive. We expect to provide better services to passengers arriving to Port of Keelung and we look forward to your visit soon.