Passengers of Norwegian cruise ship MV Norwegian Jewel experienced Filipino hospitality during their stop in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
On Saturday, the Puerto Princesa City government welcomed an estimated 3,000 passengers and crew with a dance and music performance as they disembarked from the cruise ship.
The tourists and crew members were welcomed by Puerto Princesa Mayor Lucilo Bayron, Department of Tourism (Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) MIMAROPA headed by Regional Director Roberto Allabado III and Philippine Ports Authority Port Manager Elizalde Ulson.
On the other hand, the traditional performances were led by Banwa Dance and Arts, Puerto Princesa City Choir, City Band and Tribu Tandikan.
Norwegian Cruise Line MV Norwegian Jewel arrived in Puerto Princesa a day after visiting Boracay island. It is the first fleet of the cruise company to visit Asia after more than three years.
It is the second cruise ship to arrive in November, with MS Silver Whisper also arriving days prior. It brought in 382 tourists and a crew of around 300, also welcomed by the Puerto Princesa City government.
Earlier, it was reported that MV Norwegian Jewel was supposed to arrive in Puerto Princesa in December. Four more cruise ships are expected to dock in Puerto Princesa.
Apart from the welcome ceremony, the city government also held a send-off event for the passengers of MV Norwegian Jewel with streamers indicating 'Bon Voyage' and showcase of other cultural performances.
'Bon Voyage MV Norwegian Jewel! Thank you for visiting Puerto Princesa! See you again!' the city's tourism office posted.
The arrival of cruise ships in Philippine tourist destinations is a welcome development, according to the Department of Tourism.
The Philippines won the Asia's Best Cruise Destination 2023 at the prestigious World Cruise Awards last month, building itself as "an emerging powerhouse in the global cruise and tourism sector."
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