Asia-Pacific cruise Superstar Virgo makes Manila its home port

Vernise Tantuco
Asia-Pacific cruise Superstar Virgo makes Manila its home port
The cruise, which will take guests to Laoag, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, is the first to make Manila its home port

MANILA, Philippines – For the first time, a cruise ship is set to make Manila its home port.

From March 19 to May 23, Star Cruises’ Superstar Virgo will sail from Manila and take its guests to Laoag City in Ilocos Norte, Taiwan, and Hong Kong for a 6-day, 5-night trip.

In an interview with Rappler on Friday, January 13, Star Cruises Senior Vice President Michael Goh said that the dates were chosen to avoid the typhoon season.

A total of 15 voyages are planned for 2017.

Standard promotional fares for the cruise start at $490, and the highest promotional rate is at $1,530.

Onboard the ship are 935 cabins for its maximum number of 2,400 passengers, who can enjoy facilities like a 100-meter water slide, more than 10 dining options, and nightly shows.

Photo courtesy of Star Cruises

Photo courtesy of Star Cruises

Photo courtesy of Star Cruises


Star Cruises has had ports of call in Puerto Princesa, Manila, and Boracay.

At the Friday press conference, Star Cruises President Ang Moo Lim said that the company is looking into calling into other ports in the Philippines, and recommended two things to improve cruise tourism in the country.

“I think the first thing is that if you want to develop the cruise industry into new ports, it is very important that in terms of regulations, some waivers can be given,” he said, saying that regulation waivers need not be permanent.

“The second one, obviously, is the infrastructure of the places that we go to. A lot of the beautiful islands, beautiful places that we have in the Philippines, may not have the infrastructure to support, for example, 2,000 passengers coming down at the same time,” he continued.

Lim mentioned dining options and buses as examples of what may be missing at certain islands that they may want to turn into ports of call.

For Philippine passport holders, no visas are needed for the Superstar Virgo cruise launching from Manila, unless passengers plan to hop off in Taiwan and stay for an extended period.

Bookings for the cruise can be made here. –

For more information and reservations, call Star Cruises Philippines at (632 836 6830/31/32 or email

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Vernise Tantuco

Vernise Tantuco is on Rappler's Research Team, fact checking suspicious claims, wrangling data, and telling stories that need to be heard.