One of the world’ major cruise lines has approached the Philippines Government to buy a private island for its passengers.
The move would be a first for the region – though it is not unusual in mature cruise areas of the Caribbean, where Royal Caribbean, MSC, Disney and others have bought properties so their passengers can land.
It would give the line a special destination for cruise ships from around the region – including Australia. In the Caribbean, cruise lines like MSC have hosted special events like concerts and dance parties, while Disney has child rides.
Sean Treacy, Royal Caribbean’s Managing Director for Singapore & Southeast Asia, said he didn’t know if it was his line – but he did agree the line with Asia’s biggest fleet of ships did have scouts out all the time looking for new destinations and ports.
“We have had discussions about Manilla and Boracay – but I have not heard about an island,” he told Cruise Passenger as the line introduced the region’s biggest and newest ship, Ovation of the Seas.
Adam Armstrong, managing director of Australia and New Zealand, said he had not heard of an island hunt.
A Philippines official who asked not to be quoted told Cruise Passenger of the approach. The official said it was an ongoing discussion but had not been completed.
In the Caribbean, lines use private islands so passengers can disembark and enjoy themed events, restaurants and entertainment.
Australia and Asia’s incredible growth has seen enormous tonnage sent to the region, and China is the world’s fastest growing cruise market.
An island would seem a logical next step in a region where infrastructure and destinations able to handle large vessels are in short supply.
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