Filipinos need not fly elsewhere just to join a cruise.
For the first time ever, an international cruise ship will be making Manila as its homeport.
Superstar Virgo, a 13-storey cruise ship, is set to sail from Manila starting March 19 for a 5-night multi-city voyage.
It will be making ports of call in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, Kaohsiung in Taiwan, and in Hong Kong before heading back to Manila.
“We promise our guests a hassle-free cruise from Manila,” said Michael Goh, vice president for Sales, Star Cruises, during a press conference in Pasay City on Friday.
Although Filipinos normally need a visa when visiting Taiwan, this requirement is being waived for those joining the cruise.
Philippine passport holders need not get a Taiwan visa as long as they are joining the cruise in Manila and will still be boarding the ship when it sails to Hong Kong after its stop in Kaohsiung, according to Andrea Solis Manzano, assistant vice president for Sales of Star Cruises.
Filipinos enjoy visa-free entry to Hong Kong.
Superstar Virgo offers amenities such as an outdoor swimming pool, mega slide, two-level theater, mini golf course, karaoke room, gym, sauna and spa. It is equipped with 935 cabins and has 10 restaurants. It also arranges excursions in each of the cities it will be making a stop in.
One of the highlights of the cruise, according to Goh and Manzano, is the gala dinner wherein guests get to dress up and meet the captain of the ship.
Superstar Virgo will be homeporting in Manila until May 23. /rga