16 February 2012

UK-based cruise ship to visit Subic Freeport

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) will welcome the first international cruise ship to dock in this free port this year, as M/V Spirit of Adventure arrives from Manila on February 17 as part of its Southeast Asian tour.

The ship, which is based in the United Kingdom, has 378 passengers and more than 200 crew members on board. They are scheduled to visit key tourist spots in the Subic Freeport such as the Pamulaklakin Aeta village and Camayan Beach.

M/V Spirit of Adventure has been to Malaysia, Brunei and Borneo before arriving at Puerto Princesa in Palawan recently. The ship will then proceed to Cebu and Manila before docking at Subic.

Raul Marcelo, SBMA deputy administrator for business and tourism, said that the cruise ship’s visit is an opportunity to show that the Subic Bay Freeport is ready to be a top cruise ship destination in the Philippines and in Asia.

He also said that the SBMA has already made arrangements to ensure the passengers’ safety and convenience during their ten-hour stay here.

The SBMA has been grooming the Freeport as a major cruise ship destination since it co-founded in 2010 the Asia Cruise Terminals Association (ACTA), a group seeking to provide a unified marketing platform for the cruise ship industry in the Asian region.

Last year, the SBMA hosted ACTA’s second pro-tem meeting before the group was formally launched in Singapore last November.

Marcelo said that Subic stands to get a windfall from the cruise industry, which also eyes the growing number of wealthy Asians as a “source market.” (FMD, SBMA-MPD)