Queen Elizabeth Cruise Liner Visits Hokkaido for 1st Time

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The cruise ship MS Queen Elizabeth enters Otaru Port in the morning on May 27.

OTARU, Hokkaido — The MS Queen Elizabeth, a luxury cruise liner with a capacity of 2,081 passengers, docked at Otaru Port in Otaru, Hokkaido, for the first time on May 27.

The ship, measuring 294 meters long and weighing 90,900 tons, arrived at the port at around 7:30 a.m. At a welcoming ceremony, Otaru Mayor Toshiya Hazama greeted the passengers and crew members in English and exchanged commemorative plaques with Capt. Stephen Howarth. Passengers and crew members disembarked from the ship one after another and enjoyed sightseeing around the streets of Otaru.

Hiroyuki Akiyama, 70, a passenger who came from Mito with his wife, said, “Because coronavirus pandemic restrictions have been eased, we were finally able to go on a trip. This is my first visit [to Otaru] in 50 years.” He expressed his desire to visit Otaru Nishin Goten, a large historical house related to the herring fishing industry.

According to the city’s port office, 16 international cruise ships are scheduled to call at Otaru Port this year.