A luxury ocean liner dropped anchor in this city’s port on Thursday, signaling broader opportunities for the local tourism industry.
The MS Silver Whisper, touted as a cruise ship for the rich and famous, arrived at slightly past 7 a.m., bringing 382 vacationers and a crew of around 300.
Registered in Nassau, Bahamas, the 610-foot, 10-storey vessel is operated by Monaco-headquartered Silversea Cruises.
MS Silver Whisper is the first of six cruise ships that will be visiting Puerto Princesa’s shores this November, the City Tourism Department (CTD) announced.
CTD chief Demetrio Alvior, Jr. said that guests aboard the ship will tour several key attractions in Puerto Princesa, top-billed by the underground river in Barangay Cabayugan.
They will then sail off to their next port of call in Coron, also in Palawan.
The city anticipates heightened tourism and overall economic activity with upcoming cruise ship arrivals slated on Nov. 4, 8, 16, 18 and 28, Alvior noted.
“This November won’t just see the MS Silver Whisper; five more vessels are scheduled. And December will welcome the MV Norwegian Jewel and the MV Aida Bella. The influx will keep us on our toes, but it’s a bustling pace we look forward to,” he said.
The MV Norwegian Jewel is expected to bring in about 2,500 people; the MS Westerdam, 1,964 individuals; and the MS Star Breeze, around 327 passengers.
Alvior explained that unlike in the past when international tourists arrived mainly by airplane, the city’s expanded tourism program has paved the way for more visitors to arrive by sea.
The city official said that stakeholders in the tourism sector are being encouraged to provide exemplary service, showcasing the renowned Filipino hospitality, cement Puerto Princesa’s place as a tourism hub in this part of the globe, and give the local economy a much-needed shot in the arm. (PNA)