The whale-shaped Kaohsiung Port Cruise Terminal(高雄港旅運中心) has become the city's new landmark. The inauguration ceremony was celebrated on March 6th of this year, with the first international cruise ships visiting the harbor since the COVID-19 pandemic began. It was celebrated as the Port of Kaohsiung's (高雄港) reopening to welcome the world back to its shores.
Reiser + Umemoto, RUR Architecture DPC, and local architectural firm Fei & Cheng Associates (宗邁建築師事務所) were the designers that worked on the project. Kaohsiung Port Cruise Terminal was built with a steel frame structure. It has two underground and fifteen above-ground floors. The multiple arcs were built to resemble waves, with a bright and light atmosphere inside. The terminal can accommodate 250,000-ton cruise ships.
A boardwalk on the third floor provides breathtaking panoramic views of the port. Therefore, it has become Kaohsiung's newest scenic spot, where visitors can enjoy a waterfront stroll. On one side, visitors can enjoy views of the Kaohsiung Pop Music Center (高雄流行音樂中心), and on the other, they can look down and watch the cruise ships coming into the terminal and docking.
※The First Cruise Ships to Dock at the Terminal
Taiwan welcomed the first two cruise ships to dock at the new Kaohsiung Port Cruise Terminal. One of these ships was the Seven Seas Explorer cruise ship (七海探索者號). It was also the first to be moored in the brand-new Kaohsiung Port Cruise Terminal and had about 600 passengers onboard. The other ship was the Westerdam (威士丹特號), which docked nearby at the Penglai Cruise Terminal (蓬萊旅運中心).
Traveling on the Seven Seas Explorer was a couple from Texas. It was their first time visiting Taiwan. While in town, they went to Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum (佛光山佛陀紀念館), Lotus Pond (蓮池潭), and other attractions in Kaohsiung. They enjoyed Lotus Pond's Dragon and Tiger Pagodas (龍虎塔) and learned they would get good luck if they entered through the dragon's mouth and exited from the tiger's mouth! They also went to Meinong (美濃) and had Hakka (客家) cuisine for lunch, which they thought was extremely delicious!
Sachs and Artmento from California visited the Kaohsiung MRT Formosa Boulevard Station (捷運美麗島站) to see the "Dome of Light (光之穹頂)," an artwork created by renowned Italian Artist Narcissus Quagliata, who spent nearly four and a half years working on it. They were stunned and thought it was the most gorgeous glass artwork ever created in the world!
To get to Kaohsiung Port Cruise Terminal, take the Circular Light Rail and get off at the Cruise Terminal Station(C9)