It’s been months since I last shared something on this platform. Recovering from Odette and COVID definitely halted a lot of things for me. But today, I’m breaking my hiatus and “will try” to create more useful content.
I’ve been seeing many people traveling again (What COVID? Lol). Just last month I met with friends who visited Cebu for a quick leisure trip. It definitely made me happy seeing them after two years and seeing other people exploring again.
Aside from Cebu, one of the places that recently reopened to tourists is Bohol. You can do lots of activities in Bohol. One of the classics is the Loboc River Cruise. After an intensive post-Typhoon Odette rehabilitation, Loboc is finally back in business, promising a brand new experience with refurbished boats and even more comfortable facilities.
The floating restaurants have also resumed the buffet lunch service. According to Lourdes Sultan, Manager of Travel Village Tours, a Loboc River Cruise operator, the cruise had a brief resumption in the last quarter of 2021 as pandemic restrictions slowly eased. However, when Typhoon Odette made landfall in many of the provinces in the Philippines including Bohol, many vessels were severely damaged.
Last March 1, 2022, four cruise vessels were launched at their maximum 50% passenger capacity of 30-50 guests per boat. This is in accordance with the protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF). Some of the vessels are currently under rehabilitation and four more vessels will be cruising by end of this month.
Loboc River Cruise is a novelty tourist activity that promises an enriched heritage experience. The refurbished twin-hulled motorized vessels are now wider and fitted with details in the Visayan vernacular architecture. Polished wooden floors, stained glass, Capiz, and Callado details have been installed on the vessels. Get to enjoy a more culturally-attuned journey through the river.
Sultan shares how the cruise operators saw an opportunity to enhance the aesthetics of the boats. The upgrade is in keeping with the Bohol Provincial Tourism Council’s direction for tourism facilities to adopt the Visayan vernacular theme.
BACK IN BUSINESS
The country is slowly reopening its doors to more tourists. Many tour operators, destinations, and establishments have adjusted to the “new normal”. The local government of Loboc and its cruise operators prepared for this. They assigned separate entrance and exit buildings within the river cruise complex. The two-storey airconditioned entry facility houses the ticket booths and waiting areas and can house 150 people. Social distancing is still implemented.
Just last month, a friend of mine shared how the cruise operators were overwhelmed by the number of tourists visiting Loboc. An average of 150 daily visitors have gone on the river cruise on its first four days of operation. For obvious reasons, many people (Filipinos and Non-Filipinos) have just been waiting for the pandemic restrictions to be lifted.
The Department of Tourism – Region 7 reiterates its commitment to industry players all over the region and congratulates the Province of Bohol, LGU Loboc, and the floating restaurant operators for the initiative to enhance the Loboc River Cruise and for the successful reboot.
If you plan to visit Bohol soon and experience the Loboc River Cruise, operators are now accepting forward bookings. Visitors need to present their vaccination cards, certificates or passports upon entry.
Exciting times! As the world slowly goes back to traveling and exploring, may we always remember to stay safe and explore responsibly.
Note: Information indicated in this post may change without any notice. Don’t hesitate to let me know for any updated information.