Boracay Island will soon become a homeport for an international cruise line.
Aklan Jetty Port Administrator Niven Maquirang said international cruise line Royal Caribbean has confirmed its plan to make Boracay as its main cruise ship hub in the country by developing a cruise terminal which will rise at the reclamation area of the Caticlan Jetty Port.
He said that a memorandum of understanding between the Aklan Provincial Government and officials of Royal Caribbean Cruises Inc. is underway.
He said the development, eyed to be completed in three to four years, will be funded through public-private partnership (PPP).
Maquirang said Royal Caribbean will fund the development which will include a berthing and terminal facility, eyed to support the growing number of cruise arrivals in the island.
With the hub development, Maquirang said that a “cruise and fly” concept is also targeted to be started in Boracay.
Through the “cruise and fly” concept, tourists will fly to Boracay. They will then stay on the island for one or two days and transfer to their next destination via cruise.
The cruise ship hub, according to Maquirang, will help generate jobs and likewise boost income for Aklanon producers and from nearby provinces.
“The proposed cruise port in Boracay will also be used as transit point to other Western Visayas areas like Sicogon in Iloilo,” Maquirang said.
Royal Caribbean is one of the biggest contributors to Boracay cruise tourism. Legend of the Seas, one of its cruise lines, is among the earliest that included Boracay as its port of call in the country.
Aside from being a beach destination, Boracay is also considered a major major cruise destination in the country and is part of the Turquoise Triangle which also include Manila and Palawan. PNA