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About Manila

Truly the city that never sleeps, the Philippine capital and cruise port of Manila promises a real buzz of an experience from the moment you see (and hear!) the first multi-coloured jeepney whiz by.

These former US military jeeps are individually customised as the world's most distinctive taxis with all sorts of logos, bells, whistles and horns to add an extra splash of colour and noise to the city's already teeming streets.

Split into business, hotel, residential, shopping and entertainment districts, this sprawling city has a lot to see. The Manila cruise excursions take in fascinating museums (the Ayala Historical and the National are the pick) and cultural centres, bars, clubs and restaurants of its vibrant nightlife district.  For good beaches, you need to travel outside the city where one of the most exciting experiences is 'shooting the rapids' at the fabulous Pasgsanjan Falls.

With such a variety of destinations, cruises to Manila are sure to create an exciting holiday.

 

Shore excursions in Manila

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Bulacan Heritage Tour

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 5¼ hours

Gain an insight into the country’s rich and diverse heritage on a visit to Bulacan province, just north of Manila.

Your tour begins with a visit to Barasoain Church, built in 1888, in Malolos City. Founded by Augustinian missionaries in 1859, it is renowned for its architecture and internal décor and objects. It has been a designated National Shrine since 1973. Afterwards, visit the Museum of the 1899 Republic, the first national museum to be modernised by the National Historical Commission. The evolution of the Philippines from colonial outpost to independent state is highlighted here. You’ll also visit the Casa Real Shrine, built in 1580. It was the seat of power for Malolos during the Spanish and American occupations and also the National Museum and National Printing Press offices during the first Philippine Republic. This remarkable building has witnessed much history. Restored in 1852, it functions today as a museum and library. The Malolos Cathedral is your next stop, also known as the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. As you return to the ship you will pass along Kameztisuhan Street, where a row of ancestral houses stands as a reminder of the town’s long history.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 2½ hours of walking on this tour, as well as around 30 steps to negotiate. A small snack box will be provided on the coach.

Charms of Old Manila

Activity high

Duration: 3¾ hours

Step back in time as you discover old Manila, including Rizal Park, San Augustin Church and Fort Santiago.

Sit back and relax as you drive along Roxas Boulevard, a 6 mile long promenade that has been reclaimed from Manila Bay to the heart of the old Spanish city, Intramuros. With your guide, explore Fort Santiago, which served as headquarters to the military might of the Spanish, American and Japanese colonisers until its destruction in 1945. During your visit, you’ll enjoy some free time to browse the local handicraft store for souvenirs.

Next, you’ll visit the country’s oldest structure, which dates back to the 1571, San Agustin Church and Monastery. Admire the high renaissance facade, the tromp l’oeil ceilings and extensive collection of ecclesiastical artefacts.

Wide manicured lawns and spouting fountains lead you from the walled city, to the historic Rizal Park. Enjoy a brief photo stop at Rizal Monument, the resting place of the country’s national hero, Dr Jose Rizal.

Before returning to the ship, you’ll visit the Manila Hotel, a ‘Raffles’ style hotel which was once ‘the most exclusive address in the Pacific’ and historically was General MacArthur’s HQ during WWII.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There are approximately 30 steps at Casa Manila. Traffic conditions within the city centre are unpredictable and this may affect the duration of the tour and increase the time spent on the coach. The order of highlights may vary to avoid congestion.

Corregidor Island

Activity highMeal included

Duration: 7½ hours

Explore Corregidor, a small island known as ‘The Rock’ – rich in history and natural beauty and a designated national park.

This popular tour takes you to the tadpole-shaped island of Corregidor, lying approximately 25 miles west of Manila and a symbol of determined resistance of Filipino and American soldiers against Japanese invaders during World War II.

As you make your way from the ship to the pier for your hour long ferry ride to the island, you’ll travel along the famous Roxas Boulevard, capturing views of Manila Bay and the smaller outlying islands. Upon arrival on the island, board a tramvia (tram) for a trip down memory lane, as you take in the sights. The island is strewn with rusty gun batteries and battle-scarred buildings, each with poignant stories to tell. A particular highlight is the Topside, the nucleus of the complex containing the Army headquarters, parade ground, and cinema; the Mile Long Barracks which once housed 8,000 men; and the Middle-side, which has more barracks and the hospital.

To further enhance your experience, there will be a sound and light show in the Malinta Tunnel, from where General Douglas MacArthur directed operations. This re-enactment of the dramatic events of World War II is sure to be a memorable highlight of your tour.

A buffet lunch featuring a selection of Filipino dishes, and including a soft drink, will be served at a local restaurant.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach, ferry, tramvia and on foot. Passengers are advised to wear comfortable shoes as the tour involves approximately 2 hours of walking over uneven and graveled ground. To operate this tour we require a minimum of 100 passengers, should this not be achieved, we regret the tour will be cancelled.

Leisurely Manila and Tea

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 4 hours

See the cultural highlights of Manila on this leisurely tour, including tea at a luxury hotel.

Your tour starts with a panoramic view of the old walled city of Intramuros, built during the Spanish colonial period. You’ll then drive past Fort Santiago, which served as the military headquarters of the Spanish, American and Japanese colonisers until its destruction in 1945. Restoration began in 1953 and still continues today.

Afterwards, your coach will make a photo stop at Manila Cathedral before continuing past Casa Manila. Reconstructed in the 19th century, San Agustin Church was originally built between 1587 and 1604 and is the oldest surviving church in the Philippines. In fact, it was the only building left intact when Intramuros was reduced to rubble during the Liberation of Manila in 1945. As your panoramic drive continues, you’ll have the opportunity to admire the Coconut Palace, the Cultural Centre of the Philippines, the Philippine Convention Centre Makati Financial District and the American Cemetery.

Enjoy a photo stop at Rizal Park before heading to Manila Hotel for refreshments of tea or coffee accompanied by sandwiches and cakes.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 20 minutes of walking on this tour, as well as around 5 steps to enter the refreshment venue.

Modern Manila

Activity medium

Duration: 4½ hours

Manila is a city of two sides; visit the highlights of the new side on this tour and discover a thoroughly Modern Manila.

Modern Manila is fast growing in importance as the arts and financial life stream of the country. Drive through the fountain-adorned Cultural Centre of the Philippines Complex, reminiscent of the glorious years of the Marcoses.

Continue onto the Philippine International Convention Centre and Folk Arts Theatre, which is a favourite venue for both local and international events, concerts and performances. Opposite you will find the Coconut Palace, a building made mostly of coconut materials and the Sofitel Philippine Plaza, a deluxe hotel which gives a magnificent view of the Manila Bay.

Proceed to the financial and commercial centre of Makati to visit the famous Ayala Museum. Forming the core of the museum’s historical collections are 60 handcrafted dioramas that chronicle the rich tapestry of Philippine history. It also features a one-of-a-kind boat gallery, archaeological and ethnographic objects from the country’s northern and southern communities and a fine arts collection.

The last stop is the American Memorial Cemetery, the largest outside continental US, before the return drive down Roxas Boulevard by the fabled Manila Bay.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1 hour of walking on this tour over mostly paved surfaces.

 

A selection of cruises to Manila

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