Cruise ship tourism resumed in Ilocos Sur, Palawan, and Bohol starting Thursday, Feb. 9, after a three year break due to pandemic travel restrictions, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Santiago announced last night.
“PPA is proud to welcome these international luxury ships to our shores as we bounce back from the effects of the pandemic”, he noted.
Tthe Ports of Salomague, Coron, and Tagbilaran catered to 48,100 tourists in 2019 before the pandemic but in 2020 and 2021, cruise ships cancelled their trips due to the covid-19 threat, according to PPA port statistics.
First to come this year was "MV Seabourn Encore", which arrived yesterday at the Port of Coron, Palawan.
MV Seabourne Encore is about 26 percent larger than the Seabourne’s three Odyssey-class vessels which holds 34 percent more passengers, based on double occupancy.
This ship made its last port call in Singapore and has more than 500 guests mainly from USA, UK, Germany, Australia, and Canada. The cruise ship also carries 452 crews, in which 201 are Filipinos.
The port management office of Bohol and the Local Government Units are all set to receive guests on February 11, 2023 upon the arrival of the international cruise ship named “Silver Shadow” at the Port of Tagbilaran.
PMO Bohol preparations with the Local Government Units started as early as January 13 this year together with different stakeholders and private institutions.
“Silver Shadow” has one of the highest space-to-guest ratios at sea with 392 guest capacity, 302 crew capacity, and a tonnage of 28, 258 tons.
According to PMO Bohol other than international tourists, they are also expecting a significant increase in their passenger traffic especially during the summer months of May- July.
On the other hand, "MV Silver Spirit” arrives at the Port of Salomague, Cabugao, Ilocos Sur on February 14, 2023 under PMO Northern Luzon.
This luxury ship is also the first international cruise ship to dock at the Salomague port after 3 years since the pandemic hit with about 500 American and European passengers on board.
According to the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur, passengers will also be given a 6-hour walking tour in the province specifically at Vigan City and San Vicente.
Other than the tour, the provincial government said they will also be providing cultural performers and activities to entertain the cruise guests and make their visit more memorable as announced on their social media pages.