After making history in 2017 as the first international cruise ship that homeported in the Philippines, SuperStar Virgo is returning to the country and is set to again make Manila its homeport from March to May this year (2018).
The 18-year-old cruising vessel of ‘The Most Popular Cruise Line in Asia,’ Star Cruises, is implementing new summertime itineraries on its return. Summer deployment from March 5 to May 29 will comprise of 18 sailings, each lasting six days and five nights.
Of those sailings, 12 will take the Manila—Naha (Okinawa, Japan)—Keelung (Taiwan)—Manila route. Those deployments will be on March 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, April 4, 9, May 9, 14, 19, and 24. The other route will be Manila—Ishigaki (Okinawa, Japan)—Keelung (Taiwan)—Manila and will take six deployments scheduled on April 14, 19, 24, 29, May 4 and 29.
SuperStar Virgo’s 13-storey vessel has a 2,600-passenger capacity per sailing. There are 935 cabins available consisting of sea-view rooms and balcony suites. Based on demographics of cruisers same time last year, Star Cruises expects some 2,000 Filipinos to be onboard each deployment this time. The rest, or about 20% of cruisers, are expected to come from the cruising line’s inbound Taiwan market.
For leisure travelers who dislike the usual hassle of securing travel visa when going to Japan, a popular destination among Filipino vacationers, getting on board any of the summer deployments of SuperStar Virgo could be convenient as it would facilitate entry to the Land of the Rising Sun without a visa.
The special cruise would also be strategic to those who have been aiming to go to Naha, Ishigaki, and Keelung. To date, there are no direct flights going to these destinations. Naha is the capital of Okinawa, a city known for its popular temples, shrines, shopping centers, and entertainment hubs. Ishigaki is often described as ‘the most beautiful place in Japan’ because of its nature attractions. Meanwhile, the port city of Keelung abounds with historical sites.
Value for money
“It will be very convenient and cost-saving for Filipinos to go on a cruise with us this summer,” said Star Cruises International Sales Senior Vice President Michael Goh. “During summer, airfares are usually expensive,” he added.
The Manila—Japan—Taiwan summer cruise offers total holiday experience to guests. At a starting price of US$540 (around P27,000) for March sailings and US$640 (around P32,000) for April and May schedules, cruisers would enjoy overall luxury from accommodation to various leisure and entertainment facilities that are accessible to all guests. Cruisers are also entitled to six meals per day, which include various Asian, international, and Filipino cuisines.
Families with young children can enjoy another opportunity to further save on costs. Kids below 12 years old can take the cruise for free, if they travel as third or fourth person with their parents.
Taking the cruise would also be ideal for travelers who usually get into trouble when they exceed airlines’ luggage limits. “We don’t have luggage restrictions,” Goh declared with zest.
Special cruise themes
“Aside from the nightly entertainment, we are rolling out theme cruises to make each sailing unique,” said Star Cruises Assistant Vice President for Sales and Marketing Andrea Manzano. Several celebrities will be onboard during specific sailings to facilitate various programs for cruisers.
The Greatest Hits Cruise – On the first sailing on March 5, members of 1970s Filipino bands VST & Co. and The Boyfriends will serenade guests with their greatest hits onboard a special concert cruise.
The PBA Legends High Seas Tour – March 30 Holy Week sailing schedule will take guests on a sports cruise as basketball legends Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codinera, Johnny Abarrientos, and Benjie Paras get onboard for 3-on-3 exhibition games and a special basketball clinic for kids.
Labor Day Party Cruise – On April 29, DJs Tom Taus and Patty Tiu will spearhead the Labor Day Party Cruise as they bring the club onboard.
Mothers’ Day Cruise – Balladeer Daryl Ong will headline SuperStar Virgo’s Mothers’ Day Cruise with an on-board concert for moms.
Pororo At Sea! – Kids would surely rave with the presence of Pororo the Little Penguin and two of his friends. The gang will perform twice in each sailing scheduled in May.
To learn more or book cruise slots for any of the 18 sailings, click this link.