Subic eyes more cruise ship visits
Bebot Sison Jr. (The Philippine Star) - May 18, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is looking forward to the arrival of more cruise ships under its “Tourism Star” development agenda to promote Subic’s tourism potentials and maximize its attractiveness as a world-class tourist destination.  

The most recent cruise ship to dock at Subic was MS Bremen, an expedition ship operated by the German tour giant Hapag Lloyd Cruises. 

“With the recent port call of the MS Bremen, we have proven once again that the Subic Bay Freeport can easily be a preferred destination for cruise ships,” SBMA administrator Wilma Eisma told The STAR.

“This is really fortuitous for us, because under our Tourism Star program, the SBMA seeks to promote Subic as the next cruise ship playground, alongside other objectives like creating a Subic tourism brand and expanding existing tourism programs,” she added.

The 111-meter Bremen docked at the Alava Wharf last Friday, bringing more than 150 tourists as well as a complement of ship crew that included some naturalists.

The visitors were welcomed at the dock by the SBMA brass band and tourism staff. 

Eisma was also around during the reception and gladly received a ship memorabilia from ship Captain Roman Oprist.

“This is the first time that we had docked in Subic Bay Freeport,” Oprist said. “We have already travelled to Java and Borneo, and this is our next stop.”

Oprist said the Bremen is an expedition ship of a special kind because it was designed to navigate where other cruise ships can not go – on thick ice or in shallow waters.

He added that the four-star vessel carries only a maximum of 160 guests.

During its Subic Bay visit, some passengers visited the Pamulaklakin Forest Trail where they witnessed demonstrations of jungle survival techniques by the local Aeta tribe, while others went to the Zoobic Safari theme park.

Eisma said that with plans to upgrade the ports and wharves inside the freeport, the SBMA is working to attract more cruise ships.

“Subic has got what it takes to be a cruise ship playground. And the arrival of Bremen is a good sign,” Eisma said.    

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