Silver Spirit cruise ship’s arrival in Puerto Princesa City has been cancelled after authorities confirmed that some of its passengers have histories of travel in Hong Kong and mainland China.
Demetrio Alvior, city tourism officer, said Friday morning that the “aggressive” precautionary measure imposed by the Customs, Immigration, Quarantine, and Security (CIQS) was an affirmation to the old adage “prevention is better than cure”.
Silver Spirit was supposed to arrive in the city on February 8. However, its visit to Puerto Princesa City was canceled due to the 2019-novel coronavirus scare.
“Hindi na sila papasok ng Pilipinas, based on the order issued by our President [Rodrigo Duterte],” he said, pointing out that “the ship will be quarantined elsewhere.”
Some passengers aboard the 650-carrying capacity luxury cruise line reportedly traveled to Hong Kong and mainland China recently which was the basis of the cancellation by health and immigration authorities.
Silver Spirit is a luxury cruise ship operated by Silversea Cruises, a privately owned luxury cruise line. The sixth ship of the Silversea fleet that entered service in 2009.
Meanwhile, AIDAvita, the second ship in AIDA cruise fleet, remained on track of its scheduled arrival on February 9 at the Puerto Princesa Port (PPP).
“CIQS personnel were currently aboard the AIDAvita, kung saan sila sinalubong sa Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia as a precautionary measure in checking all its passengers and crew members,” Alvior added.
However, Alvior clarified that AIDAvita’s itinerary is still under monitoring and might be changed based on the recommendations from CIQS officers.
“Naghihintay pa din kami dahil maingat sa pagbibigay ng information and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) at CIQS to avoid information scare,” he added.
Puerto Princesa City was pegged to receive seven visiting international luxurious cruise ships in 2020 as the city bids for establishing its “Cruise Ship Capital of the Philippines” status.