TACLOBAN CITY – Personnel from the provincial tourism office of Northern Samar and tour operators recently conducted a site inspection in Biri town where an international cruise ship is set to visit in November.

INTERNATIONAL CRUISE. An international cruise ship, Coral Adventurer, will visit Biri, an island town Northern Samar famous for its rock formations, on November with over 200 guests on board which is seen to further boost its tourism industry. (Photo Courtesy)

Coral Adventurer, an Australian cruise ship that carries around 120 foreign guests, is set to dock Biri, an island town known for its centuries-old rock formations.

The town, which faces San Bernardino Strait and Pacific Ocean, has seven rock formations, namely; Magasang, Bel-at, Magsapad, Caranas, Macadlaw, Puhunan and Pinanahawan, but only six of these are easily accessible.

The visit of the Coral Adventurer will run from November 1 until 9, so far the longest stay of an expedition cruise ship that visited the region since 2013.

Biri is one of the additional sites for international cruises in Eastern Visayas, and the second town in Northern Samar that is included in the port call of expedition cruises.

The first town that was visited by the cruise ship was Capul Island in 2018.

During the site inspection in Biri, the team assessed the docking facilities available and the various sites to be visited by the cruise visitors.

“By evaluating the logistical requirements and considering other essential factors, they were able to finalize the activities and tour itinerary, ensuring a well-planned and enjoyable experience for the visitors,” Maria Josette Doctor, Northern Samar provincial tourism officer said.

“By assessing the docking facilities and selecting the sites to be visited, the team ensured that the necessary arrangements are in place to accommodate the cruise ship and provide a seamless and memorable shore excursion,” she added.

Doctor added that the upcoming cruise call in Biri Island not only marks a milestone for the destination but also presents an opportunity to showcase the natural beauty and attractions of the island to international tourists.

“It is an exciting development for the local tourism industry, as it highlights Biri’s potential as a sought-after cruise destination in Northern Samar,” she said, adding their appreciation to Governor Edwin Ongchuan and the provincial government for giving their full support to the cruise ship visit.

Coral Adventurer, the last expedition cruise ship to visit Eastern Visayas this year, will be staying in the region for nine days. After Biri, the foreign visitors will also be visiting Capul Island, also in Northern Samar; Tacloban City, Babatngon town in Leyte and Maripipi and Sambawan Island, Biliran; Kalanggaman Island Cuatro Islas, both in Leyte; then Padre Burgos, Southern Leyte.