- German luxury ship makes stopover on Kalanggaman Island
- There were 365 tourists and 269 members on board
- Kalanggaman Island, located in Leyte, has become a regular destination stopover for Hapag-Lloyd cruise ships
The world-renowned Kalanggaman Island is truly a sight to behold. This was proven after a German luxury cruise ship with 365 tourists and 269 crew members on board made a stopover last December 29 just to have a closer look at the stunning sandbar of the islet located in the western part of Leyte.
Palompon Vice Mayor Georgina Arevalo disclosed that it was one of five stops of MS Europa of Hapag-Lloyd in the Philippines during a 14-day voyage. Also, it is the second time that the ship made a stopover at the island.
Europa’s skipper planted a marker on the island to mark the day in 2013 when it first made a stopover at Kalanggaman; an article written by Lalaine Jimenea on Philippine Star stated.
Charmed with the powdery white sands and crystal clear water, the island has become a regular destination stopover for Hapag-Lloyd cruise ships in their Asian island destinations.
In addition to this, two other cruise ships of the company have stopped at the island: MS Europa II and the MS Breman, the report said.
Even after super Typhoon Yolanda pummeled the island in 2013, Hapag-Lloyd has continued to make Kalanggaman a stopover for its cruise ships. This has made Palompon Mayor Ramon Oñate and other town officials very proud and happy.
By January of 2014 or two months after Yolanda hit, the island was ready to receive visitors through the help of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
According to Mayor Oñate, Palompon makes more than P200,000 from every stopover of cruise ships through entrance and environmental fees to include income of local businesses from selling souvenir and native items to visitors.
Due to its majestic and breathtaking sight, the island was dubbed the “crown jewel” of the tourism corridor of Northwest Leyte. This characteristics earned Kalanggaman Island a spot in the list of the 10 most beautiful sandbars in the world.
Meanwhile, Hapag-Lloyd describes MS Europa as its “most beautiful yacht.”
Its Christmas tour sailed from Singapore on December 12 and made stops at Bintulu in Borneo, Muara in Brunei, Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan in Sabah.