Asia’s biggest cruise ship makes maiden call in Subic Freeport

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – MV Spectrum of the Seas, known as the largest cruise ship operating in Asia today, made its maiden port call here on Friday, capping Subic Bay Freeport’s stellar performance this year as the region’s emerging cruise ship destination.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma who personally welcomed the disembarking passengers said that almost 5,000 foreign tourists arrived on the ship.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma personally welcomes cruise ship passengers with lei, as SBMA employees cheer on the disembarking passengers.

“More than 20 tourist buses were fielded for our guests, who would be touring various attractions in Subic and in the nearby communities,” Eisma pointed out.

“This is great news for the SBMA, which has been marketing Subic as a must-see destination for cruise liners, and this is also great news for tourism stakeholders in Central Luzon,” she added.

The MV Spectrum of the Seas is the first Quantum-Ultra-class cruise ship built for Royal Caribbean International, the world’s largest cruise line in terms of revenue and second largest by passenger count.

The ship is the biggest and the most expensive cruise ship to sail in Asia and features Royal Caribbean’s first private enclave for suite guests, new stateroom categories and innovative dining concepts on top of amenities like outdoor and indoor pools, body and mind spa, fitness centre, rock-climbing wall, sports court, Splash-away bay, and an outdoor movie screen.

Spectrum of the Seas can accommodate 5,622 passengers, as well as 1,551 crewmembers.

Eisma said that the arrival of Royal Caribbean’s top cruise liner marks the start of the second phase in Subic’s cruise ship tourism program.

“Beginning January next year, we shall be seeing more and bigger cruise ships in Subic. The MS Spectrum of the Seas will come back for another visit on January 20, to be followed its sister ship MS Quantum of the Seas, another behemoth that will arrive here on February 28,” she said.

Eisma added that with the arrival of bigger ships, the SBMA expects to receive bigger financial windfall for Subic and the neighboring areas of Olongapo City, Zambales, Bataan and Pampanga.

According to SBMA records, Subic received a total of 19 cruise ship in 2018, which marked the start of the agency’s cruise tourism program.  The arrivals yielded a total of 38,205 visitors, and earned the SBMA Seaport Department P8.4 million in direct revenue.

This year, the 15 cruise ship arrivals from January to October generated 38,985 visitors and an income of P8.07 million for the SBMA Seaport.

Eisma said the actual income earned by all the tourism players in Subic and neighboring communities would be bigger since this would include money earned by tour buses and taxis, entertainment groups, restaurants and shops, tiangge vendors, theme parks and resorts, as well as malls in Subic and nearby areas.

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