The M/S Caledonian Sky conveying 76 guests and 13 staffs from the Zeghram expeditions docked in the island of Calayan, Philippines. Majority of the guests are from the United States of America aged 60-85 years old.
The guests explored the unexploited forests and soaked up the sun in the fine white sand beaches of the island. They participated in different nature and adventure activities such as bird watching, snorkeling and hiking in going to the lighthouse.
The highlight of their tour to the island was the community immersion where they rode a “kuliglig”, a traditional farm vehicle going to the rice fields and participated in rice planting and the traditional way of rice milling with the town folks.
The municipal government of Calayan led by Vice Mayor Edmund Escalante held a program that entertained and amused the guests. The program involves cultural presentations that depict the rich culture and traditions of the local community with given emphasis on the endangered species of a bird found only in the island which is the ‘pidding’ or the Calayan rail. They were also
served with local dishes that promote the known cuisines of the island municipality.
Mr. John Nicholeson, Zeghram’s Director for Planning and Research revealed that it was through his destination research that they came to know about the island of Calayan and the Northern part of the country to include the island province of Batanes. Meanwhile, Mr. Mike Messick, the Expedition leader expressed his amusement and appreciation to everything they saw and experienced. He stressed that the warm hospitality of the people of Calayan was indeed amazing that they can’t even believe they would experience such treatment.
Zeghram is based in Seattle, USA and they partnered with Sharp Travel, a travel agency based in the country to launch the said expedition which started in Manila going up North Luzon that included the provinces of Pangasinan, Vigan, Calayan Island then Batanes on 17 March.
It is also noteworthy to mention that this is the first time that the island of Calayan was explored by an international cruise ship.