Take the 2-minute tour ×
Travel Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for road warriors and seasoned travelers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This is a followup to a previous question of mine where we established that it is possible to travel between the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan.

So now that we know that it's possible, and because this idea keeps coming back to me, I'd like to get some specific answers to how to do the one leg:

  • Which shipping companies would take a passenger between Taiwan and Okinawa (or some southerly part of Japan)? And how can I contact them?
  • What range of prices should I expect for the cheapest options in either direction?
share|improve this question
    
Did you finally do the trip to Taiwan by boat? I thought about doing that from Korea. But havent gathered any information about that by now, besides that all companies went bankrupt. –  Wallone Sep 20 '13 at 2:47
add comment

2 Answers 2

Star Cruises operates cruises in 2013 from Keelung, Taiwan to Naha and Ishigaki in Okinawa. Their website is astonishingly disorganized, slow and flaky, but a search for cruises in July 2013 from Keelung indicates that they operate the Keelung-Ishigaki-Keelung route almost weekly in summer, with departures on July 3, 10, 24 and 31, with two-night cruises from TWD 15,000 (~US$550) and some boats going on to Naha.

The interesting question is whether they'll permit one-way passage, or if you have to return to Taiwan afterwards; a quick read of the passage T&C didn't find anything one way or the other. I suppose you could always pay the full fare, hop off in Ishigaki/Naha and just not return, but you'd need to ensure that you get a full-fledged tourist visa at Japanese immigration and not just a cruise landing permit.

share|improve this answer
1  
$550 return? That is very doable! Especially if there's a one-way option for about half that price. Great work @jpatokal! –  hippietrail Jan 7 '13 at 7:05
add comment

If I am reading multiple place on the Interwebs you may be out of luck. There were ferries running regular scheduled service from Taiwan to Okinawa but they apparently went bankrupt (OpenJourney confirms this as well).

If one to believe Wikitravel there is an irregular service offered by Star Cruises but I can't confirm through their website this to be true.

Japan Guidebook site still refers to a ferry service on a now bankrupt line but also gives a referral to another line which may provide ferry service to Okinawa from Kagoshima but that's about it.

EDIT

Tried looking for freighter sailings between Taiwan and Japan. There are cruises that run along the China coast with stops in multiple ports including Keelung and Kaohsiung in Taiwan with other stops in Pusan. It is possible that if you're really set to travel without flight you might be able to catch a ferry from Pusan and then take one of the ferries running to Japan and then catch one or 2 of the Domestic Ferries running to Okinawa. I am not really for this mode of transportation but if you're set to travel by sea connections via South Korea and Osaka would be your best bets.

share|improve this answer
    
Yes I've known about the defunct ferry company for years - victim of the 2008 GFC. It's mentioned in the parent question and one of the answers there seemed to debunk the cruise option I thought ... –  hippietrail Jan 7 '13 at 3:27
1  
@hippietrail It doesn't debunk it. It mentions the possibility of it happening but you need to get in touch with Star Cruises to confirm. Made an edit. –  Karlson Jan 7 '13 at 3:46
    
Yes I love ferries, in fact I may be our local expert on Japan-Korea ferries already (-: So being able to join them up all the way from Korea to Taiwan would be a great trip for me! –  hippietrail Jan 7 '13 at 7:07
    
+1 for the research work and useful links even if another answer suggests that it is not entirely up to date. –  Relaxed Sep 20 '13 at 8:53
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.