BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL
Better port facilities in Malay, Aklan will attract more cruise ship companies to include Boracay Island in their list of destinations. This was stressed by Aklan Governor Florencio T. Miraflores emphasized this as he is optimistic, tourism industry in Aklan, particularly in Boracay will thrive faster with the entry of larger cruise ships.
Miraflores said the cruise ships stay at anchorage near Boracay Island and tourists on board are ferry back and forth by tender boats to the island.
“Improving the port facilities in Caticlan and Boracay ports will ease the inconvenience of cruise tourists,” the governor stressed.
Two luxury ships are scheduled to make port calls to Boracay Island with a total of 14,700 passengers and crew on board this December 2017. MS World of Dreams with a capacity of 6,000 passengers and crew will return to Boracay on December 13 and December 20 while MSC Lirica with 2,790 passengers and crew will sail to Boracay Island on December 25. To date, the tourism department recorded 12 cruise ships in Boracay from January 1 to December 5 with over 32,000 passengers and crew.
Cruise port calls also create economic impact as tourists toured around Boracay Island. Each cruise ship passenger and crew visiting a cruise port spends $140 on the average for their food and beverages, transportation and retail shopping. Tendering is slightly more inconvenience which takes place when no pier facilities are available or when the water is too shallow for the cruise ships to get closer to shore.
Vessels drop anchor at a short distance away and use small boats, called tenders, to shuttle passengers. Tendering can be dangerous in bad weather; if the seas are too rough near a particular tender port, the cruise ship might be forced to skip the call altogether./MP