- By Gina T. Reilly
Asia’s booming cruise industry taps the Marianas market
Although the Guam Visitors Bureau has yet to finalize the feasibility study of a cruise industry home-ported on Guam, local travelers don’t have to wait long to get on board.
Guam and Saipan travelers can embark on Asia’s booming cruise industry through Star Cruises, the first international cruise line to homeport in the Philippines. Superstar Virgo, a 13-storey 935-cabin cruise liner, is the flag ship of Star Cruises, also dubbed as “Jewels of the South China Sea.”
In collaboration with Asia Cruise Cooperation— an alliance between Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines— Resorts World Manila and Star Cruises have created a package exclusively for the Guam and Saipan market.
Cebu Pacific, through its local distributor iTravel Guam, offers island travelers a special rate for the Stay and Cruise package, which can be booked online through Resort World Manila’s website.
The package includes a six-day/five-night cruise with itinerary departing from Manila. The first stop is Laoag, a historical center in Ilocos Norte, Philippines; then it sets sail to Kaohsiung, the largest southern port in Taiwan; and the final destination is Hongkong before going back to its home-port in Manila.
On board SuperStar Virgo, a variety of activities are available to cater to every passenger’s interest, such as chilling with a refreshment by the Parthenon Pool, joining the zumba class, or jogging around with a panoramic view of the ocean. Speak with the captain to gain intriguing insights about the cruise and the ports. Get creative at arts and crafts class. Shop and dine. Dance away at night or watch featured artists at Galaxy of the Stars. Try your luck at Aces Club. Watch spectacular shows at Lido Theater. SuperStar Virgo is like a floating city, where there is something for everyone.
It is highly recommended to take a daytime excursion in Laoag and enjoy the sight of preserved world-renowned infrastructures designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and try the local cuisines and delicacies like empanada and poqui-poqui.
In Kaohsiung, learn about how the Taiwanese government transformed the island into a modern beautiful port. The temples, museum and charming landscapes along the way from the port are worth checking.
As for Hongkong, you may find yourself not having enough time to explore the smorgasbord of sights, food and shopping at this melting pot.
Once you get tired of the daily excursions you can go back to SuperStar Virgo and book yourself for a spa and massage treatment or relax at the jacuzzi pool while drinking mango or watermelon shakes. No need to worry about cooking your next meal or cleaning your bedroom and washing your clothes, the ultimate vacation is supported by reliable Star Cruises crew trained to entertain and help you in everything you need.
After getting off the cruise, you may want to continue cruising on land. Resorts World Manila provides an integrated entertainment and tourism destination. They can bring you to the latest mall destination at the Fort called UPTown and Newport Mall which features a selection and local world cuisine and state-of the-art movie theaters. A new must-visit place is the McKinley Hill, where you can take a gondola ride like you are in Venice and stroll along the Mediterranean-themed environment complete with European music.