On Monday, the Heritage Adventurer, an expedition cruise ship primarily carrying senior citizens from Australia and New Zealand, docked at the international seaport of Currimao in Ilocos Norte, Philippines.
Prior to this, the ship had made stops in Taiwan and Batanes Island, with the next destinations being the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan and Manila.
As part of the welcoming ceremony, leis were distributed to the guests by Araceli Salem, senior tourism operations officer of the Department of Tourism (DOT) Laoag sub-office.
Adding to the festive atmosphere, local Dinaklisan Festival dancers performed, much to the delight of the guests, many of whom took selfies and filmed the performance.
While in Ilocos, some of the cruise passengers intend to explore local heritage landmarks in Badoc, Ilocos Norte, as well as in Vigan City and San Vicente in Ilocos Sur.
To ensure the safety and security of the tourists, personnel from the Philippine Ports Authority, coastguard, rural health unit, and Philippine National Police were present and assisting.
The DOT anticipates that larger cruise ships will follow in the wake of the Heritage Adventurer, known as the ‘Grande Dame of Exploration Cruising’.
As such, the Port of Currimao is undergoing expansion to accommodate these future visits. Recent improvements to the access road leading to the seaport were funded by the national government. Even before the pandemic, the port in Currimao had been gaining traction as a novel destination for the cruise industry.