Japan Receives 1st Foreign Cruise Ship Since Pandemic Start

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Amadea cruise ship, operated by a German company, arrives at Shimizu Port in Shizuoka on Wednesday morning.

Japan received an international cruise ship from overseas for the first time in about three years on Wednesday, following a suspension due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Amadea cruise ship, operated by a German company and carrying some 500 passengers, arrived at Shimizu Port in Shizuoka at around 8:00 a.m.

The government had suspended international cruise ships arrivals after an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Diamond Princess, which berthed at Yokohama Port in February 2020. The transport ministry announced in November last year that the country would reopen to international cruise ships, and cruise ships operated by domestic companies subsequently resumed their trips between Japan and other countries.

The reopening to international cruise ships is expected to bring economic benefits, thanks to more travelers visiting from overseas. On Wednesday, locals welcomed the Amadea with a Japanese drum performance at Shimizu Port. Some passengers were to disembark for sightseeing and other activities. They were to undergo an onboard medical exam before going ashore, and infection control measures such as hand sanitization were to be taken at the port.

The ship is to depart for Tokyo Wednesday night.