More cruise ships seen sailing to PH | Inquirer Business

More cruise ships seen sailing to PH

Ports regulator expects 40,000 holiday-makers to dock this fourth quarter

MANILA  -The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is ready to welcome the surge in passengers this coming holiday season with the arrival of more cruise ships, which had been halted for three years due to the pandemic-induced travel restrictions.

PPA spokesperson Eunice Samonte said on Wednesday that 40,000 cruise ship passengers are projected to dock during the last quarter.

“We have a lot of cruise ships coming over,” she said. Among the cruise companies deploying ships to the country are the Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, SilverSea Cruises, Windstar Cruises and AIDA Cruises.


As of September, the local ports have served 46,657 passengers since the resumption of cruise tourism in February.


“Of course, we also prepared our passenger terminals for the arrival of the tourists. We have everything that they need when they travel via ports,” Samonte told the Inquirer.

In total, PPA is projecting over 86,000 cruise ship passengers this year, less than half the 213,765 it recorded prior to the pandemic in 2019.

Asked when the PPA would see the full recovery of the sector, PPA General Manager Jay Santiago told the Inquirer it was “hard to say.”

“We will need to receive formal commitments from cruise operators first to determine the actual volume of arrivals,” he explained.

Attractive destination

But Santiago is optimistic that the “Best Cruise Destination in Asia 2023” from the latest World Cruise awards conferred to the country would drive interest and boost the sector.

Among the PPA-managed ports catering to cruise vessels are Ports of Currimao in Ilocos Norte, Salomague in Ilocos Sur, Manila, Bohol and El Nido, Palawan.


The port agency seeks to develop more cruise terminals in Palawan, Siargao, Camiguin, Boracay and Puerto Galera.

Aside from picturesque tourist destinations, Santiago said the rich culture, desirable local delicacies and the warmth of the Filipino people were enticing foreign tourists to visit the Philippines.

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Last year, passenger traffic grew by 156 percent to 59.07 million from 23.08 million in 2021. The return of cruise ships this year is expected to drive passenger volume by as much as 25 percent in 2023. INQ

TAGS: cruise ships, PPA, tourists

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