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February 17, 2017

基隆 黃色小鴨的一生 (爆破畫面)

Ever wondered why there are so many rubber ducks on sale in Keelung?

Here is your answer: for Chinese New Year 2014 some in city hall thought it was a great idea to have a giant rubber duck in port. Designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, these ducks had become popular in Southeast Asia. There already had been some trouble with strong winds in Kaohsiung, so they set about adjusting the flotation device to a locally made submerged barge. So far so good.

After one week the duck became quite smudged by the soot deposits of heavy fuel oil burned by ships - so they scrubbed down the duck. When the weather finally improved on December 31, 2013, my husband and I decided to come down from our mountain view of the port to go have a look for ourselves. Alas, on the taxi ride down to the Maritime Plaza the news spread quickly - the duck had split open and deflated. "Forgot to install a pressure vent" for the expanding air on a first sunny day... Sorry ! Bu Hao Yi Si as they love to say here when things go wrong, bowing profusely.

Life goes on: to spin out this grand theme, the city then installed a giant Yellow Chicken ashore. Looked too much like Hofman's borrowed bathtub idea ? No problem - mei wen ti: 沒問題 (Mei2 Wen4 Ti2) so we ended up with a "black chicken". Giant Inflatables are still a craze in Taiwan for any occasion, to make things ever so cute.

December 2, 2015

Night image of Taiwan

Such a remarkable picture from the International Space Station ! On a cruise and rounding Fuguei cape - the northernmost point on the island, you'll see the hundreds of squid fishing boats with their very bright lights. Using their GPS they stay clear of the shipping lanes. Keelung is on the North coast in the center, Kaohsiung on the left in the South.


Oblique Night Image of Taiwan and China

April 24, 2013

Caledonian Sky, Keelung 18th April 2013


From our apartment on the hills, this ship looked so small compared to the container vessels coming into port all day. So we took a closer look at the Caledonian Sky just before departure at 8 pm.

Finally a ship that doesn't dwarf our Harbor Bureau... Just over 100 British and German passengers were on board, enjoying a break in the rainy weather we've had for most of this month. Hope to see more of such specialty cruise ships of Noble Caledonia !

April 8, 2013

Ocean Dream

   
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On a typical Keelung rainy day - on December 18, 2012 it looked as if a Costa ship had changed colors...  was I dreaming ? Not quite: the funnel of the 'Ocean Dream' was a 2001 retrofit of the original 'Tropicale' built in 1981 for Carnival cruise lines, which featured their red-white-blue-whale-tail like funnel.

It was the first new cruise ship built, setting a trend at the time. It still has the looks, but is missing the now so familiar private balconies, and since the launch ships have grown so much in size. Operated with a yellow funnel until 2005 by Costa.

Now the former cruise ship sails on trips around the world for Peace Boat, an international non-government organisation based in Japan. Previous visits of this group were by the 'Oceanic' in May 2012, and much earlier by the 'Topaz'. Both vessels have been scrapped since. Hope to see this historic ship again !

March 19, 2013

Nautica in Keelung 24+25 February 2013

Oceania's "Nautica" is a consistent visitor to Keelung from the days cruising to Taiwan started to be popular. On many itineraries this ship offers you an overnight stay to enjoy the night views from Taipei 101 and a stroll through our locally famous Keelung "Miaoko" night market around the temple, just a short walk away from the cruise terminal. Many passengers on board are repeat visitors, and this way I've made a lot of friends. Here is my impression of the first of two visits in 2013. You can see the outline of Yehliu peninsula in the background...


March 8, 2013

Seven Seas Voyager



















Sometimes the Keelung port looks like a Chinese painting in the early morning mist. Woke up to the view of the Seven Seas Voyager entering the harbor on March 1st 2013 at 7 am. A nice all balcony ship glistering in the sun... Welcome back !
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November 6, 2012

Costa Victoria in Keelung

Costa's growth in the region continues with a bigger ship based in East Asia. On the 5th of November the Costa Victoria paid a noon to midnight visit to our Keelung port on a 16 day Shanghai to Singapore cruise. I saw many European, North American and some Asian passengers on this trip at the popular spots around town: at the white Guanyin statue overlooking the port, and later in the night market.



Seeing the ship docked at berth East 3+4, it reminded me of an Alaska cruise on Norwegian Sky. Indeed, as its older sister ship the Costa Victoria has been retrofitted with two decks of outside balconies to look like it.


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Look for more Costa Victoria and other ship and Taiwan tourism videos on my YouTube pages