Heritage Adventurer, a small ship expedition with at least 51 passengers mostly seniors from New Zealand and Australia, made her way to the international seaport of Currimao in Ilocos Norte on Monday.
Araceli Salem, senior tourism operations officer of the Department of Tourism (DOT) Laoag sub-office, led the giving of welcome leis to the guests arriving at the seaport.
“Before coming to the Philippines, the expedition cruise ship came from Taiwan. Batanes Island was the first Philippine port of entry, followed by Currimao and then to Hundred Islands in Pangasinan,” Salem said in an interview.
In a show of warmth and hospitality to the arriving guests, the Dinaklisan Festival dancers of Currimao wowed the audience as some of the guests even opted to take selfies with the performers while others took videos and photos of them.
While in Ilocos, some of the passengers will visit heritage landmarks in Badoc, Ilocos Norte as well as in Vigan City and San Vicente, both in Ilocos Sur.
After visiting Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, the cruise ship will head to the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan and then to Manila.
In coordination with the Philippine Ports Authority, coastguard personnel, rural health unit personnel as well as members of the Philippine National Police assisted the visitors for their safety and security while in the province.
According to the DOT, bigger cruise ships are expected to dock in Ilocos this year following the maiden call of Heritage Adventurer, often referred to as the ‘Grande Dame of Exploration Cruising’ due to her celebrated history and refined design for polar exploration.
Currently, the Port of Currimao expansion project is being improved in preparation for the arrival of more cruise liners here.
Recently, the access road leading to the international seaport of Currimao has been improved with aid from the national government.
In pre-pandemic times, the Currimao port in this northern gateway of Luzon has become more popular as a new port of call in the country for the cruise industry. (PNA)