Story & photos by Marky Ramone Go
Philippine tourism has reached cruising level—figuratively and literally—thanks to a succession of port of calls by leading luxury liners in Asia.
After the successful sailing of Star Cruises’s SuperStar Virgo early this year, which cruised from Manila to Laoag, Ilocos Sur, Kaoshiung, Taiwan; Hong Kong and back, its sister ship, Dream Cruises’s World Dream is now calling Manila as its home port starting November this year until March 28, 2018.
This development comes as a major boost to Philippine tourism, as each docking of the World Dream constitutes to at least 2,500 foreign tourists taking various tours in the city of Manila to even as far as Tagaytay City.
“With the introduction of the World Dream, Dream Cruises is now a fleet and with strong destination partners, such as Manila. Dream Cruises is proud to be an exciting part of Genting Cruise lines’ leadership role in promoting the growing tourism and related industries throughout Asia and specifically the Philippines,” Dream Cruises President Thatcher Brown explained during the round-table discussion held inside World Dream during the ship’s inaugural docking at Manila Harbor.
Welcoming the thriving cruise-ship industry in the country with open arms, Philippine Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon T. Teo said: “We welcome World Dream to the Philippine shores, the largest cruise ship for the year, as we continue to position the country as one of the major cruise hubs in Asia. This milestone is another sign of the confidence and trust from cruise lines, especially Genting-Star Cruises.” Teo added, “As we broaden our cruise-tourism portfolio with more exciting shore excursions and plans for our very own dedicated cruise-port terminal, we continue to welcome more and more cruise passengers and bigger cruise ships for the years to come.”
Introducing a new travel concept to Filipinos
With the Philippines becoming a cruise-shipping hub in Asia, Dream Cruises hopes to introduce a new travel concept to Filipinos, who have now been bitten by the travel bug—as shown by increasing figures of domestic tourism and outbound travelers.
Gone are the days when the idea of luxury cruise-ship travel is seen as a staple of the rich and famous. Nowadays, even young millennial professionals can easily afford a five-night getaway aboard a ship laden with luxurious features.
Rising 18-deck high, Dream Cruises’s World Dream ship can accommodate 3,400 passengers. Other features include 35 bars and restaurants serving an array of global cuisine, a state-of-the-art Zodiac Theater, a number of casinos, health spas, signature brand stores and various recreational and entertainment centers with an outdoor fitness course, a six-slide swimming pool and the largest virtual-reality game zone at the high seas.
5-Night Sailing to the Whitest
World Dream offers an itinerary starting from a three-night Manila—Boracay and Hong Kong cruise to a five-night Manila-Boracay-Hong Kong-Manila. By cruising in one of the “whitest beaches in the world”, the Department of Tourism is expecting World Dream to lure more tourists from Hong Kong, making this partnership a two-prong approach in promoting both the cruise-ship industry in the Philippines, as well as helping the country increase tourism arrivals.
While Dream Cruises’s World Dream will only make Manila as port of call destination until March 2018, its sister ship the SuperStar Virgo, is scheduled to make another tour of duty in the country, as it plans to offer another exciting itinerary that will include Manila, Taiwan and Japan starting March 2018.
When they say “the sky’s the limit,” in the case of the cruise-ship industry in the Philippines, the possibilities stretches as far as the edges of the seas. The port of Manila has never seen exciting times as what has happened these past few months. With the sight of the gigantic World Dream ship docked at Pier 15 in Manila Harbor, one can only decipher how the future of travel has, indeed, arrived in our waters.
Latest posts by Marky Ramone Go (see all)
- To be playful with primates and prayerful at the holy temples - August 12, 2018
- Experiencing the Olden Vibe of the Ancient City of Sukhothai - July 22, 2018
- A walk through Villa Escudero’s cultural and historical relics - March 18, 2018