LEGAZPI CITY – Hanseatic Nature Expedition Cruise docks at Legazpi City Port on Sunday, April 30, with 180 German tourists, flocking the ‘Queen City of South Luzon’ for a whole day adventure.
This cruise under Hapag-Lloyd is scheduled to visit two regions in the country with several tours around South Luzon.
“Sa Pilipinas, dalawang region lang ang bibisitahin nila. ‘Yung region 5 and sa northern part, sa Batanes area. So, we’re very lucky kasi sa tatlong hihintuan, dalawa sa Bicol. Here in Legazpi and (in) Calaguas,” Herbie Aguas, Department of Tourism (DOT) Bicol regional director, said in an interview with BicoldotPH.
Legazpi City is the first and welcoming stop in the Philippines, following their trip from Palau and Guam.
“This is the 1st stop from Palau, sa Pilipinas tayo ang mag-wewelcome,” DOT V RD Aguas added.
Tourists are welcomed by a festive dance number as they exit the cruise ship to proceed to their designated vehicles for the tour, while some decided to walk and roam around the city on foot for the next couple of hours during their stay.
Kim Koschitzki, a tourist from Germany, shares in an interview that she wants to go around Legazpi City, admire Mayon volcano, eat local food, and experience the culture of Legazpeños even just for a day.
“It’s our 1st time in the Philippines so we are really happy to be here. I’m gonna experience Legazpi and I’m really excited,” Koschitzki added.
Aside from the hype of the foreign tourists, Filipino crew members are also elated to meet their families waiting at the port.
“Pumunta dito family ko from Pangasinan. (It was a) 16-hour drive,” Aldwin Dela Cruz, a Filipino crew member of Hanseatic Nature Expedition Cruise said.
Aside from this, Dela Cruz implied that it is his first time visiting the city and that the warm welcome they received from the people is unexpected.
“Ang ganda, kanina nakaka-goosebumps ‘yung pag entry namin, after ilang months. Ayon, Pilipinas. Sobrang unexpected,” he added.
Meanwhile, Legazpi City Chief of Police Dennis Balla ensures that they are 100 percent ready with the security operations to assure the safety of the visiting foreign nationals.
“So today we have police deployed for the PNP alone, we have about 250 personnel we have scattered into different locations,” Balla said.
Thus, securing peace and order with the help of their barangay counterparts is among the primary goals of the PNP.
“Well, so far we have serious conferences, coordination meetings have been conducted just to make sure that the activity will be a smooth sailing,” Balla explained.
Hapag Lloyd’s Hanseatic Nature Expedition Cruise made their 1st point of entry for their Philippines expedition in Legazpi City – boosting the tourism feats of the region for international visitors.
“This is really a big boost in the tourism here in Bicol region since na may nag-dock na sa atin na cruise ship. I’m sure this won’t be the last time and also (para) makilala ‘yung Mayon (and) makita ‘yung kagandahan nito,” DOT V RD Aguas said.
Sharing the pride about Mayon volcano has been a branding of Albay for visiting tourists and sharing what adventure Legazpi City has to offer is a big push for the said industry.
“They’re gonna share this story about Bicol region, so this will be a big boost and big marketing strategy for our region”, Aguas concludes. | Danica Roselyn Lim