ILOILO City – The Department of Tourism Region 6 welcomed the 450 passengers of Seven Seas Navigator (S.S. Navigator) during its maiden port call in Boracay Island on March 4.
About 200 passengers of the cruise ship disembarked and toured the Island of Boracay. They enjoyed swimming and snorkelling in the newly rehabilitated beach.
DOT-6 Boracay Field Office officer-in-charge Kristoffer Leo Velete together with senior tourism operations officer Marc Maio Judicpa, personnel from Philippine Ports Authority, Cagban Jetty Port and Malay Tourism Office boarded the cruise ship for the exchange of plaque. They were treated to a tour of the cruise ship.
Ricardo Pihniero, destination manager of S.S. Navigator said that he likes the new and better Boracay. He lauded the government for rehabilitating the island and for strictly implementing the regulations.
S.S. Navigator is manned by a 350-member crew which included Filipinos. The families of the crew were given the time to be with them.
DOT-6 regional director Atty. Helen Catalbas emphasized that the arrival of international cruise ships is an opportunity to showcase Boracay Island. DOT as chair of the Boracay Cruise Ship Assessment Team will monitor and regulate the port calls to ensure adherence to the carrying capacity of the island.
A policy banning cruise ships during peak seasons will be enforced. Cruise ship will be banned on April 16 to 23, 2019 during the Holy Week, April 24 to May 31, 2019 during the summer season, October 26-November 8, 2019 during the celebrations of the All Saints Day and the All Souls Day, November 23 to December 19, 2019 during the SEA Games and December 20, 2019- January 5, 2020 during the Christmas season.
“During these peak seasons, cruise ships will be banned in Boracay Island and will be offered alternative destinations which include Iloilo and Bacolod”, Catalbas said./PN