A cruise ship seen sails near the city port. (Photo from Puerto Princesa City Tourism Office)

Cruise ship arrivals will begin again in the last quarter of the year, according to the City Tourism Office.

MS Noordam, a cruise ship that offers museum-quality art and lavish staterooms for passengers, will make its maiden voyage to Puerto Princesa in November, signaling the return of more cruise ships, according to Michie Hitosis-Meneses, senior operations officer and promotions marketing chief for the City Tourism Office (CTO).

It will be followed by the arrival of MS Europa on December 10, Norwegian Spirit on December 12, MS Blue Dream Melody on December 18, Silver Dawn on December 28, and Norwegian Spirit again on December 29.

“This means our cruise ship tourism is thriving. This means we’re leading among areas where cruise ships drop their anchors,” Meneses said.

When asked why the arrival of cruise ships stopped, she explained that this was because they follow a seasonal pattern.

“Hindi naman siya na stop basically. Ganyan talagang mga season ang punta nila sa atin, yung kapag winter season sa kanila. Marami ang umiiwas din sa lamig kaya first quarter at last quarter rin talaga ang dagsa nila sa atin,” she said.

(It didn’t really stop, basically. Their visits to us are really like that, during their winter season. Many also avoid the cold, so their influx to us is really during the first and last quarters.)

Since January, approximately eight cruise liners have sailed to Puerto Princesa City to experience visiting places that can be explored even with just a short stay, such as the underground river, Honda Bay, Plaza Cuartel, and others.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) said in an update recently that around 80,000 passengers is expected to visit the Philippines from this year to 2026.

This year, Manila stands as the top choice, expecting 34 ship calls. However, beyond Manila, Puerto Princesa City takes the lead with 13 calls, followed by Coron, in northern Palawan, with 10 calls, and Boracay with eight calls.

Looking ahead to 2025, Puerto Princesa remains the preferred destination, with 14 expected calls, trailed by Boracay with 10 calls, and Salomague in Ilocos Sur with four.