Holland America cruise ship visiting Guam

The MS Maasdam, a Holland America cruise ship, is now docked at the Guam port. (PAG photo)

The MS Maasdam, a Holland America cruise ship with about 1,500 passengers, is visiting Guam.

Port Authority of Guam General Manager Rory Respicio informed PNC News that the 55,575 gross ton cruise ship is now docked at the Guam port.

“The passengers are going through clearance now,” Respicio said.

The MS Maasdam features a teak promenade deck, two-tiered dining room, and atrium with glass sculpture. The ship also features an expansive art collection.

The MS Maasdam is currently on a Pacific tour. After leaving Guam, it will proceed to other Pacific islands before going on to Australia.

According to Respicio, the Port Authority of Guam is coordinating with the Guam Visitors Bureau in welcoming the cruise ship passengers.

“We also coordinated food trucks to be on site for those passengers who are not going to venture out into our island,” Respicio said.

Respicio said the visit of the MS Maasdam is a good sign that the cruise ship industry is recognizing Guam as a port of call.

Last July, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero signed an executive order establishing a working group to create a strategy for a small-ship cruise industry for Guam.

Under Executive Order 2019-17, the working group shall collaborate with the Micronesian Cruise Association to work with participating governments and islands within Micronesia to ensure alignment and support with a small-ship cruise line industry servicing Guam.

“Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and our board have placed great emphasis on the development of a cruise ship industry at the Port, and for us to work with GVB to provide the visitors with our island’s hospitality experience,” Respicio said.

Guam also recently joined the South Pacific Cruise Alliance (SPCA), becoming its ninth member.

David Vaeafe, president and chairman of the SPCA, said Guam’s location in the northern Pacific and proximity to Asia makes it an ideal cruising destination from the eastern markets and a potential homeport for cruising around Micronesia.