About Cebu

Cebu is perhaps most famous as the site where that doyen of ocean-world exploration, Ferdinand Magellan, met a rather sticky end, but don't let that put you off! As well as a plethora of outstanding beaches and world class diving, visitors may wish to take in the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino, built in 1565 and reputedly the oldest church in the Philippines, although the fact that it's been destroyed three times by fires brings to mind shades of Trigger's broom. Also worth visiting is Fort San Pedro, built in 1565 (it was a busy year), the ruined fort provides a wonderful backdrop to its spectacular walled gardens.


Shore excursions in Cebu

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.

Cebu City Sights

Activity high

Duration: 4¾ hours

Explore the city of Cebu and discover the charms of the country’s oldest colonial city.

With your guide, you’ll start your visit on foot with a short walk to Fort San Pedro. The fort was built in 1565 and has served as an army garrison and stronghold and has even been a city zoo! Today, you can enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the walled gardens. Then, it’s a short drive across town to admire Magellan’s Cross. The crucifix is said to contain the remnants of the cross planted by Ferdinand Magellan, on the shores of Cebu in 1521. Just a short walk away is the Basilica Minore Del Stanto Nino. Pilgrams flock to the Basilica to admire an image of the Holy Infant Jesus, which dates from Magellan’s time. Miraculously, the image has survived the church burning to the ground and the earthquake of 2013.

Next, you’ll embark on a panoramic drive through the historic Parian District, including the country’s oldest street, Colon Street. A photo stop will be made at the Heritage Monument, an imposing sculpture depicting symbolic events in the history of Cebu. Explore Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House and Casa Gorordo Museum to capture a glimpse of the affluent Cebuano lifestyle during the 18th and 19th century. To finish this tour of discovery you’ll visit the Taoist Temple, in Beverly Hills. This ornate temple was built in 1972 and is the centre of worship for Taoism, the teachings of the 600 BC Chinese philosopher Lao Zi.

Essential information

Passengers are advised that there is approximately 2½ hours of walking with some steps, inclines and uneven terrain to negotiate. Photography is not permitted inside the Taoist Temple.

Panoramic Cebu

Activity low

Duration: 3 hours

Capture the sights of Cebu on a leisurely panoramic city tour.

Cebu is located in the central islands of the Philippine archipelago, commonly known as the Visayas Islands, and takes pride in being the country’s oldest colonial city. Sit back, relax and admire a city with a rich and colourful history.

During your panoramic drive you’ll pass Fort San Pedro, the nucleus of the first Spanish settlement, and the smallest tri-bastion fort in the country. Magellan’s Cross, a Christian cross planted by Ferdinand Magellan, on April 14th, 1521. The cross marked the arrival of Christianity to the Philippines, and marks the spot where some 800 natives were baptised. Next, you’ll pass by the Basilica Minore Del Stanto Nino, it was on this spot where the miraculous image of the Holy Infant Jesus was found unscathed after a fire razed Cebu to the ground. A replica of the image is enshrined at the church’s side altar.

Have your camera ready as you drive along Colon Street, the country’s oldest street. In the heart of the Parian District is the magnificent Cebu Heritage Monument, which showcases the significant and symbolic events in the history of Cebu. Passing Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House and Casa Gorordo Museum, you’ll get a taste of the affluent Cebuano lifestyle from the 18th and 19th century.

Essential information

This tour has little walking included.

Plantation Bay Retreat

Activity lowMeal included

Duration: 6 hours

Plantation Bay has been described as not simply a resort, but a truly unique experience.

Leave the hustle and bustle of Cebu city behind and head to the coral island of Mactan.

Set in 27 acres of secluded grounds, Plantation Bay Resort and Spa boasts one of world’s largest privately-owned lagoons and elegant colonial plantation architecture. The time spent at the resort is yours to do as you please. Relax on the beach, take a refreshing dip in one of the swimming pools, meander through the landscaped gardens or if you’re feeling a little more adventurous you can kayak around the lagoon.

A buffet style lunch will be served in one of the resort restaurants.

Essential information

The return transfer to the resort is approximately, 1 hour each way. There is varying terrain at the resort, which includes some steps. Walking is at passengers’ discretion. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. Please remember to bring a towel, swimwear and sunscreen. Lunch and a soft drink are included, any additional beverages are payable direct. Spa and beauty treatments and other services may be available at an additional cost, payable locally in US Dollars. Please refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages prior to any swimming activities. Before you book this excursion, you must refer to the ‘Beach / Water Related’ paragraphs under the Guide to Symbols in this brochure.

Southern Cebu Countryside

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 6½ hours

Cebu is not all about the city. Head for the hills and enjoy the charms of the southern countryside.

Sit back and relax as you travel south to the quaint town of Carcar. Driving along the coast it’s easy to see why many travellers favour the region, with its pristine beaches and tropical year round temperatures.

Upon arrival, you’ll be enchanted by the various Spanish and American period structures. Have your camera ready, to capture the striking features of St Catherine of Alexandria Church, with its twin bell towers topped by an onion dome. With your guide you’ll explore the former Carcar Dispensary, a museum exhibiting artefacts of artistic, historic and cultural importance to the town. The American-era civic architecture of the building is the real jewel. The façade is adorned in latticework, semicircular transoms, carved barandillas and mini-canopies amid stained glass windows.

Then it’s time to experience some local flavours and crafts, as you are introduced to the art of tuba making. Tuba is an alcoholic drink made in the Philippines from the sap of the coconut tree. It can also be distilled into a potent liquor known as ‘Lambanog’. Finally, try your hand at basket weaving, a Cebuano folk art developed by the inter-island trade.

Essential information

The return journey time to Carcar is approximately 2 hours each way. Lunch is not included during the tour, therefore, we recommend passengers have a hearty breakfast on board. A snack box will be provided which includes a bottle of water, pack of cookies, crisps, muesli bar and a banana.

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