Marina to implement stringent rules on operation of cruise ships

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The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) starting this month will enforce strict policies on the acquisition and operation of local cruise ships to ensure maritime safety and security, including only accrediting cruise ships that have been operating for not more than 20 years.

Moreover, cruise ships, whether newly built or previously owned, will be required to be classed by the International Association of Classification Societies to warrant their adherence to technical standards and requirements, ensuring maritime safety and environmental protection, Marina said in a statement.

While all Philippine cruise ships are required to be manned by Filipino seafarers, Marina said it is open to granting special permits to foreign cruise ships wanting to engage in local cruise shipping in areas that are not serviced by local cruise ships.

Cruise tourism in the country has been seeing significant growth in the past years, with more foreign cruise ships calling different ports around the country, particularly Manila and Palawan.

“We are encouraging companies to operate cruise ships in the Philippines. By kick-starting the cruise shipping industry, we aim to advance local maritime industry through the boosting of Philippine tourism,” Marina administrator Rey Leonardo Guerrero said.