The Philippines has become part of the itinerary of Dream Cruises, a luxury cruise line for the Asian market, operated by Genting Cruise Lines, owner of Star Cruises.
Over 2,600 foreign tourists experienced the warmth and hospitality of Filipinos when luxury cruise ship World Dream made its maiden call at Pier 15 of the Manila South Harbor last November 21.
“With the introduction of 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 said.
The 18-deck ship, designed for the Asian cruise market, is homeported in Hong Kong, but will include regular port calls to Manila and Boracay. With a speed of up to 24 knots, the ship will have great flexibility in serving Asian destinations.
The 150,000-ton mega-ship will make its regular port calls in the Philippines until March 28, 2018.World Dream recently made its debut in Guangzhou, southern China.
World Dream was the second cruise ship to call on Manila this week. On November 20, the international cruise ship MS Celebrity Millennium also made a port call in Manila as part of its 14-day Asian Tour Program. The cruise ship carried 1,800 passengers, about 700 of whom went on a day tour of either Manila, Tagaytay, Hidden Valley and Villa Escudero.
The DOT projects about 122,000 cruise passengers from 140 cruise calls this year, up some 70 percent, from 72,350 passengers from 72 cruise calls in 2016.
Dream Cruises said World Dream provides guests with the highest levels of service and spacious comfort that the cruise line has become known, with over 70 percent of staterooms featuring private balconies and a selection of connecting rooms catering to extended families and groups.
The Duterte administration hopes to attract more cruise companies to include the Philippines in their Asian itineraries. Under the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) for 2016-2022, about P6.1 billion is needed to develop cruise ports in key destinations in the country.
The government also hopes to develop the so-called Turquoise and North Triangles as cruise destinations – Manila-Boracay-Puerto Princesa and Currimao/Salomague-Cagayan-Batanes.
It also targets the number of cruise visitors to reach 456,164 via 402 ship calls by 2022, from a projected 117,000 visitors via 105 port calls in 2017.