Bloomberry Cruise Terminal, Inc.’s newly constructed Ilocos Cruise Port in Salomague officially begins operations on December 26, 2019 with the maiden call of the largest cruise vessel currently deployed in Asia, Spectrum of the Seas.
The ship is owned and operated by Royal Caribbean, one of the world’s largest cruise brands, and will bring with it up to 4,819 passengers and 1,551 crew.
The ship is scheduled to arrive at Salomague from the port of Naha in Okinawa, Japan on a 7-night Japan and Philippines itinerary out of Hong Kong. As a tender port of call, tourists will be ferried to and from the ship to the port where they will be greeted by the port’s new Welcome Center, which details the history and cultural heritage of the region. Buses and tourist vans will then bring the tourists to touristic sites in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur as well as the historic city of Vigan, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Guillaume Lucci, Senior Advisor for BCTI, says, “This call is a handsome reward for the efforts of our team in coordination with the Department of Tourism of the Philippines to bring cruise calls to the country. It is the first call to the first dedicated cruise facility in the Philippines, and already we have the largest cruise ship in Asia calling. The structure of the itinerary shows how important it is to have a good network of cruise facilities across the country, something we are working very hard to realize.”
For the year 2020, BCTI has already confirmed calls from Royal Caribbean, Genting Cruises and an expedition ship, Caledonian Sky. Lucci adds, “Once the industry players are more familiar with Salomague and its offerings, we expect calls to increase significantly. We will use 2020 as a period where we can further fine-tune our operations and improving the passenger experience for future calls to this port.”
Following the Salomague call, Spectrum of the Seas heads to Subic Bay for the rest of the itinerary before returning to Hong Kong.