Biggest cruise ship to dock in Subic Bay makes maiden call

Subic Bay Freeport – MV Serenade of the Seas, the biggest cruise ship yet to dock here, made its maiden call early this week. 

The MV Serenade of the Seas docked at the Leyte Wharf of the Subic Bay Freeport, as an arrival ceremony was held with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Eduardo Jose L. Aliño leading the SBMA Board of Directors and agency employees in welcoming the passengers of the said cruise ship.

According to Chairman Aliño, the first to arrive this year is the MV Serenade of the Seas. He added that the Radiance-class cruise ship arrived on Monday, March 25. A total of eight cruise ships is set to arrive in this premier Freeport that is expected boost the tourism sector here.

“It is certainly a welcome sight to see a cruise ship docking here in Subic Bay. It means that this Freeport is still one of the ideal tourist sites for international cruise ships to visit,” Aliño said.

He also cited that the estimated Seaport revenue earned from the arrival of the MV Serenade of the Seas is approximately P438thousand. 2,490 passengers and 891 crew members boarded buses for a tour around the Freeport either to buy souvenirs or immerse themselves in the many tourist attractions here.

“We are expecting seven more cruise ships to arrive, including the MV Costa Serena, arriving on November 13. The ship will berth at the Riviera Wharf and will carry around 3,700 passengers and 1,100 crew members on board,” Aliño added.

The projected Seaport revenues that the Freeport will earn from cruise ship arrivals this year is expected to amount to P3.3million as the arrival of more cruise ships will open business opportunities for micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to cater to the souvenir requirements and delicacy market of the tourists.

Aliño said that the SBMA has already set up safety measures for the passengers of the cruise ship, namely, an ambulance and fire truck on stand-by; law enforcers deployed for traffic and security; seaport personnel monitoring the berthing of the ship; a bus for guests who availed of the tour package; taxis for guests who wish to go around Subic Freeport; directional and safety signages; a waiting area to pickup passengers; and tower lights to illuminate the entire area.

In October and November of last year, a total of six cruise ship arrivals were recorded, which generated P789,400.3 in Seaport revenues. The MV Blue Dream Star arrived in Subic Freeport four times in October, and twice in November, with close to 4,000 passengers in total.

Aliño said that the cruise ship arrivals are a testament to the popularity of the Subic Bay Freeport to international tourists, indicating the revival of the tourism industry in this Freeport, after the debilitating pandemic during the previous years.