The regional office of the Department of Tourism (DOT) is looking for more places in the Eastern Visayas that can accommodate more cruise passengers.

Karina Rosa Tiopes, the DOT Regional Director for Eastern Visayas, told the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday that they were looking for beachfront properties on the island of Samar, Northern Samar, and Eastern Samar. These places have long coastlines that haven't been explored yet that are big enough to fit 1,000 to 2,000 cruise ship guests.

Tiopes pointed out that tourists would rather go to places with clean water and great snorkeling choices than ones with fancy amenities. The only thing they need is a simple toilet that works.

She said, "They want an experience like Boracay's famous beaches, but with fewer people." She knew that Boracay was known as one of the best beaches in the world.

In 2013, the German company Hapag-Lloyd Cruises brought the MS Europa, which carried about 400 tourists to Kalanggaman Island in Palompon, Leyte. This was the start of ship tourism in the area.

Since then, smaller expedition cruise ships with 100 to 600 people have regularly visited Eastern Visayas.

Some of the places that are often on cruise plans are Kalanggaman Island and Cuatro Islas in Leyte, Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte, and Capul Island in Northern Samar.

Padre Burgos in Southern Leyte, Canigao Island, Tacloban City, and Palo in Leyte; Maripipi and Sambawan Islands in Biliran; and Biri Island in Northern Samar are now on the list of places to visit.

Tiopes went on, "The expansion of cruise tourism isn't solely quantified by the frequency of cruise visits but also by the variety of regional destinations included in a single cruise's journey."

This year, the Coral Adventurer, which is run by Coral Expeditions, an innovative Australian cruise line, will take tourists to the Eastern Visayas. This will continue the growth of ship tourism in the area.