‘Saipan is a cruise tour destination’


M/V Asuka docked at Saipan North Harbor port at for a day last Friday from Japan giving  500 of its passengers the chance to tour the best sites on island. The ship left the island at 5 pm to head to Cairns, Australia. (Bea Cabrera)

Saipan is fast becoming a popular destination among cruise ships that carry hundreds of tourists. One of them, M/V Asuka, was on island for a whole day last Friday.

The cruise ship of the NYK Cruise Line came from Kobe, Japan, and passed by Saipan before heading to Cairns, Australia

M/V Asuka arrived on Saipan at around 7am last Friday and docked at the North Harbor. The cruise ship carried 500 crew and 500 passengers on board.

According to Gordon Marciano, managing director for Pacific Development Inc., the ship’s arrival was expected.

“The passengers have a fixed itinerary for the day tour and we have them moving pretty much with many options of tours. We have been working with the organization of the ship that flew our staff over to Japan,” he said.

“Marianas Visitors Authority Japan was aware of what we were doing while in Japan and discussions were made. We are glad that they decided that Saipan is their chosen destination twice—one last December and February this year,” he added.

As the ship’s land agent, PDI has arranged it so that everything Saipan is known for is included in the day trip tours—Managaha, submarine tour, trekking, and many others.

“We pray for more trips like this. We have a very beautiful destination to offer. And I hope they stay for longer days in the future,” he added.

Special projects coordinator Mary Tenorio of Saipan Shipping said that M/V Asuka has been making Saipan a regular destination.

“M/V Asuka has been coming to Saipan yearly since over five years ago and in their many tour routes Saipan is included, which is usually a monthlong trip and, one day in the tour, they come to Saipan,” she said.

“They also have the New Year Saipan/Guam tour. We are hoping that they stay for more than a day on island in the future. That is something we would have to inquire with the ship as they have a lot of other ports to stop at,” she added.

Tenorio said that Saipan Shipping is the agent for NYK Cruise Line.

“We handle the logistics, getting the provisions and ensuring that all government agencies affiliated with the clearance process are taken cared of and coordinated once the ship arrives,’ she said.

“Saipan is a beautiful place. We invite other cruise lines as we have a whole bunch of shipping agencies that tourists can work with. We hope that in the future we see more cruise lines that would stop on Saipan and that would probably prompt us to expand the port in some way in regards to having a cruise terminal itself,” she added.

Bea Cabrera | Correspondent
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.

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