A city of contradictions
Discover the capital of the Philippines, Pearl of the Orient Sea. Your MSC Cruise will take you to the world of Manila. Overlooking the South China Sea, the city is located on the island of Luzón, the largest of the archipelago. Twelve million people live in this colourful yet chaotic metropolis.
Its origins can be traced back to the sixteenth century, when May Nilad, a Muslim colony, arose on the banks of the Pasig River. Following the arrival of the Americans in 1898, the town grew to become one of the most important cities in Asia. Today Manila is an economic and cultural hub, and ‒ like many big cities ‒ has to deal with overcrowding, crime and poverty.
Here past and present coexist seamlessly. An excursion will take you to Fort Santiago, an ancient Spanish fortress in the citadel of Intramuros, built in 1571. In 1945, it was almost completely razed to the ground in the battle of Manila. Today it is an historical park and a place of prayer, in memory of the Filipino victims during the Japanese occupation in the Second World War.
Tagaytay City is about 37 miles from Manila and can be visited with an excursion. It's not what you might imagine when you think of a Philippine town: forget the traffic of Manila and enjoy the wonderful greenery and peace of this town, dominated by the massive Taal Volcano – the second most active in the Philippines – with its green crater lake.
Immerse yourself in the history of Corregidor: you can take an excursion to the last bastion of the allied Filipino and U.S. forces during the Second World War. Corregidor was conquered by the Japanese in 1942 and then liberated by the Americans in 1944.