Bohol’s river cruise, floating restaurants are back
CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — The river cruise in Loboc, one of the most popular attractions in Bohol province, has reopened to local and foreign tourists now that travel restrictions have been eased.
The four cruise vessels launched on March 1 can carry 30 to 35 guests each or 50 percent of its capacity as prescribed under the rules set by the national pandemic task force.
By the end of the month, four more vessels will be launched, said Loboc River cruise operator Lourdes Sultan.
The cruise, she said, resumed in the last quarter of 2021 after some COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted. The operations, however, were halted after several vessels were damaged by strong winds and river current spawned by Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai), which devastated provinces in the Visayas on Dec. 16, 2021.‘Back in business’
“Loboc is now back in business. We congratulate the province of Bohol, particularly the local government of Loboc and our floating restaurant operators, for the initiative to enhance the Loboc River cruise and for the successful reboot,” said Shalimar Tamano, director of the Department of Tourism in Central Visayas, in a statement.
Since it reopened on March 1, the river cruise has received an average of 150 visitors daily, with at least 25 percent of them foreign tourists.
Sultan encouraged people to visit Loboc and enjoy an improved cruise along the pristine river.
“The cruise promises an enriched heritage experience. The refurbished boats are fitted with details in the Visayan vernacular architecture. Guests will enjoy a more elegant, culturally attuned journey through the waterway,” she said.
“The boats are now wider. Polished wooden floors, stained glass, capiz, and callado details have been installed on the vessels,” she added.
Tour operators are accepting advanced bookings, not only for the river cruise but for other tourist destinations in Bohol.
Tourists should bring their vaccine cards and identification documents so they could enjoy the province’s attractions, local officials said.
—DALE G. ISRAEL INQ
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