European cruise ship sails to Leyte’s Kalanggaman Island

PALOMPON, Leyte -- At least 352 tourists from European countries on Thursday explored Kalanggaman Island, Leyte’s premier tourist destination. 

The foreign tourists were on board MS Europa 2, the highest-rated cruise ship in the world operated by German-based Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, according to the Berlitz Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships. The cruise ship has almost 300 crew, including 185 Filipinos.

The ship has been making stops in Kalanggaman since 2013. The latest was in mid-January this year.

The cruise ship arrived at 8 a.m. and left the picturesque island before dark and headed to Boracay Island.

“I have been on this island for a couple of times. This island is one of the best places we know that offer services to our guest because everything is well-prepared. It is easy to go on shore and we have many facilities to use. It is perfect for us,” said MS Europa 2 cruise director Sascha Ritcher.

She also noticed the availability of basic facilities for tourists such as toilets and dressing area.

For 10 hours, tourists feasted on barbeque and explored the long white sand coastline of Kalanggaman, from the famous longer sandbar on the eastern part of the island to the shorter sandbar in the western side.

These sandbars slowly reveal its beauty to guests as water recedes during low tide.

Other activities include stand-up paddle, snorkeling, barbeque at the beach, watching local dances by students of Palompon Institute of Technology.

“These types of cruise ships are the most appropriate type for our destinations because we don’t want our islands to be overwhelmed. They will only leave minimal footprints after their visit,” Department of Tourism Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes said.

Kalanggaman Island, a one-hour boat ride from the mainland, is a postcard-perfect virgin island with powder-white sand and crystal-clear waters. It has a long sandbar that stretches toward both sides of the island.

The island that is ideal for relaxation, swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving is one of the sites offered for cruise tourism destination in the Eastern Visayas. (PNA)

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