PH first dedicated cruise terminal to open in Siargao in Oct

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PPA officials led by general manager Jay Daniel Santiago last April during an inspection of construction works at the Siargao cruise terminal. Photo from PPA.
  • The Philippines’ first dedicated cruise terminal, located in the country’s surfing capital of Siargao, Surigao del Norte, will be inaugurated in October 2023
  • The Philippine Ports Authority says the P560-million project includes a 250-meter berth that can cater to small-capacity cruise ships with 200 to 300 passengers
  • PPA will also break ground on a dedicated cruise terminal in Coron, Palawan before the year ends

The Philippines’ first dedicated cruise terminal will be inaugurated in Siargao, Surigao del Norte, in October this year, according to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

The P560-million project includes a 250-meter berth that can cater to cruise ships with smaller capacity, PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago said in a recent press conference.

Santiago said there are requests from cruise operators that want to take their guests directly to the Siargao, the country’s surfing capital. He noted there is a market for smaller cruise vessels with passenger capacity of 200-300 that sail to specific locations.

PPA will also break ground before the year-end for a dedicated cruise terminal in Coron, Palawan. In addition, he said the agency is looking at building dedicated cruise terminals in Panglao, Bohol and Camiguin, and is also scouting for a suitable cruise terminal site in Boracay.

Santiago said that while revenue generated from cruise operations is smaller than from cargo operations, PPA “recognizes the impact of tourism as a catalyst for development” and that there is a need to provide access to tourism locations.

Cruise ships resumed calls at the Philippines this year after stopping operations for the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to data from PPA’s website, passenger traffic from cruise operations reached 31,374 in the first quarter of 2023 as opposed to zero in 2021 and 2022 and 21,614 in the first quarter of 2020. In pre-pandemic 2019, cruise passenger numbers reached 213,765.

Santiago said other ports that have received cruise ship calls include Coron, Manila South Harbor, Currimao in Ilocos Norte, Salomague in Ilocos Sur, Legazpi, Bohol, and Boracay.