Earlier this week, Star Cruises launched the "Jewels of the South China Sea" cruise in a press conference held in Manila. The highlight of the event is the announcement that the Superstar Virgo, one of the best cruise ships, will have Manila as its home port. This is the very first homeport deployment of a cruise ship in the country.

Ang Moo Lim, President of Star Cruises said that this is the first time that the Filipinos can experience a cruise literally right from their doorstep. He also confirmed that the cruise will be hassle-free, visa-free and nearly unlimited in terms of baggage allowance, ABS-CBN News reports.

On March 19, the first cruise of Superstar Virgo is set to leave Manila while its last trip is scheduled on the 23rd of May. During this period, guests may anticipate their cruise to be free from any weather disturbances as the journey is scheduled on a summer.

"Star Cruises was the first major cruise line to recruit Filipinos 23 years ago for our cruise ships, and now, we are pleased to be the first international cruise line to welcome Filipinos on board Superstar Virgo as our guests from our home port in Manila," Lim added in a report from The Philippine Star.

Superstar Virgo will first land to Currimao's port in Laoag, Pangasinan where the most historic Spanish colonial structures and churches in the Philippines are located. Guests can also take a tour to the finest white sand beaches in Pagudpud.

After the tour in the North, the ship will berth in Kaohsiung which is considered to be Taiwan's biggest port. Star Cruises' president confirmed that guests of Superstar Virgo have been given special concessions. Therefore, Filipino passengers are not obliged to apply for a Taiwanese visa during the voyage.

In Taiwan, guests can enjoy the culinary delights of Taiwan as well the sights of the country's notable museums, temples and other tourist attractions. After Taiwan, the cruise will then proceed to Hong Kong where the guests of Superstar Virgo can shop all they want.

In its first month of operations, Superstar Virgo will be available at a discounted rate of US$490 per person for twin sharing and an additional of 50% off for quad sharing rooms. Executive suites are also available at US$1,230 per head. These cruise fares include meals from breakfast to dinner in the ship three main restaurants - the Genting Palace, the Mediterranean Buffet and The Pavilion Room).