05 Feb 2018
- By Junhan B. Todiño – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
THE Asuka II, one of Japan’s largest luxury cruise ships, arrived on Saipan, Friday, for a stopover.
A frequent visitor to the island, the ship had 500 passengers and 550 crewmembers when it dropped anchor at Charlie Dock at 8 a.m. The ship departed at 5 p.m. on the same day.
PDI co-owner and managing director Gordon Marciano said they were “very appreciative” that the ship made Saipan one of its destinations.
PDI provides services needed by cruise ship passengers on Saipan. “We always make sure their arrival is on time and their stay is memorable,” Marciano said. “We want them to be satisfied with their island tour.”
He thanked T Galleria management and the Commonwealth Council for Arts and Culture of the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs for displaying arts and crafts in the docking area.
Before the passengers began disembarking at 10 a.m., various government agencies conducted an inspection of the vessel: the Division of Customs Services, the Commonwealth Ports Authority, U.S. Customs and Border Control, and the Bureau of Environmental Health of the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation.
Mary Tenorio, special project coordinator with the Saipan Shipping Company, the agent for Asuka II, said they were responsible for the logistics of the visiting cruise ship.
“We hope that there will be many more cruise ships coming to Saipan in the future,” she added.
Marianas Visitors Authority community project specialist Ed Diaz and community project administrative officer Demalyn Pagarao held a musical program featuring the local dancers ManAntigu led by Frances Sablan to welcome the passengers and crewmembers with Marciano as master of ceremonies.
At 4 p.m., an hour before the ship’s departure, the Saipan Awaodori Group performed a special number at the dock.
The Asuka II can accommodate up to 800 passengers. Most of its passengers are Japanese senior citizens.
From Saipan, the cruise ship proceeded to Australia.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/102002-japan-cruise-ship-brings-500-tourists-to-saipan