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Cruise ship to dock in Ilocos Norte starting December

Superstar Virgo will dock at the Currimao port every five days from December 2017 to May 2018.

MANILA, Philippines — Ilocos Norte’s tourism industry is anticipating high tourist arrivals with Star Cruises’ luxury ship Superstar Virgo docking again at the  Currimao port this December. 

Gov. Imee Marcos has thus urged the  development of more tourist destinations, saying, “I am hopeful that areas nearby like Batac, Badoc and Paoay will develop their own attractions and tourist destinations that visitors can go to so that everyone can maximize and benefit from the expected maximum tourist capacity of 2,600 every five days.” 

Superstar Virgo is one of Star Cruises’ luxury ships which made its maiden arrival on March 20 this year, marking the birth of Ilocos Norte’s cruise ship industry. For three months, the ship brought thousands of tourists every week. 

Provincial tourism officer Ianree Raquel considered the pilot arrival last March as a “true milestone for the province,” pointing out how important it is for the province to make and sustain their good impression by ensuring that visitors have premier attractions to see in Ilocos Norte. 

The cruise ship’s arrival also brought sustainable livelihood to locals. Small and medium enterprises like souvenir shops selling local delicacies and handcrafts were put up. Van rentals and tour packages boomed as well, creating more jobs for local tourist guides, seasonal drivers and tour agencies. 

Beyond this, Marcos said she noticed the need to develop the port’s services and facilities, particularly the construction of a finger pier to eliminate the need to use tender boats to transport passengers from the ship to the port.  

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“We look forward to their coming this December, and we hope to be better prepared, especially our port,” the lady governor said as she reiterated the continuing partnership of the provincial government and national government agencies like the Department of Tourism and the Department of Transportation in the improvement of the Currimao port. 

Superstar Virgo is expected to dock every five days from December to May 2018, promising high tourist arrivals throughout Ilocos Norte’s bicentennial foundation celebration in February.

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