Traveling by sea might sound like a hassle at first—it takes longer than a typical flight, sometimes even overnight, and there's the fear of seasickness—but it's actually a great way to break from the busy, fast pace we're used to every day.
I admit I had my reservations about sea travel because I didn't want to sleep or shower in a boat rocked by the waves, but it was actually quite the peaceful voyage. Not to mention, the views of the blue waters and the stunning horizon were something you couldn't get elsewhere.
2GO Travel offered PhilSTAR L!fe a quick getaway to Boracay via ship, and it was my first time traveling on a ferry. Our trip, which started in Manila, took about 17 hours but it taught me to appreciate the slow things in life.
Away from busy ports
From Manila, we traveled all the way to the Batangas International Port, which is a breath of fresh air compared to NAIA. Typically, the Manila airport is bustling with people lining up to check in their luggage and waiting to board their planes. The Batangas pier was not as busy (something introverts may find convenient), and it took less than an hour to get our tickets, check in, and board the ship.
While the Batangas port wasn't lined up with restaurants like NAIA, it had a water dispenser and charging station for passengers waiting at the pre-departure area.
Once we boarded the ship, the crew gave a very warm welcome, attending to our needs like helping us check into our rooms and carry our luggage. The lobby looked welcoming and comfortable, too, with several seats for waiting travelers and a store for needs like water, chips, toiletries, etc.
Accommodations vary depending on your budget. There are the affordable super value and tourist spaces where you lounge with other passengers, as well as more private rooms like cabins, staterooms, and suites.
@philstarlife Traveling via ship is perfect for those who want a break from the fast-paced life 🛳 #go2GO #2GOSafeTravels #Boracay #LifestylePH #PhilStarLife ♬ original sound - philstarlife
I got to stay in an air-conditioned stateroom housing up to three beds, a TV, a refrigerator, and a bathroom, which were all clean. At first, I could feel the boat moving under my feet but it wasn't as headache-inducing as I expected. The seas were calm during our voyage so we couldn't really feel the ship rocking.
My bed stood below a huge window. It was still dark when we started our trip and I was wakened up by the sun shining through. The view was beautiful—the first thing I saw was the blue sea and clear skies.
Since our trip schedule was overnight, dinner and breakfast were served at the ship's Horizon Cafe.
After meals, we had time to roam around the ship and I used that time away from my phone since reception was pretty spotty (except to take videos and photos) watching the ship make waves across the still waters. The time to stop and just gaze gave me a sense of peace and having no cell service really helped take my mind off work.
The whole boat ride from Batangas to Caticlan took about 12 hours—definitely longer than the usual one-hour flight you can take, but the downtime that allowed us to chill, rest, and recharge were much-needed amidst a busy work week.
Chilling in Boracay
Upon arriving at Caticlan, we rode a speed boat to Boracay and a shuttle to our hotel. We stayed at the beautiful Belmont Hotel nestled in Newcoast, where you can sign up for different activities like sunrise tours, e-biking, party boats, parasailing, and more.
During trips, I appreciate being able to go to different places myself so it was fun to walk along the beach stations. Traveling to and from Newcoast was quite expensive (P300 per e-trike ride), so it was a good thing Belmont had a shuttle service from the hotel to D'Mall and vice versa.
@philstarlife There's nothing like watching the waves in #Boracay 🏝 #BelmontHotel #Go2GO #lifestyleph #travelph #islandlife #beach #PhilStarLife ♬ original sound - philstarlife
Overall, our two-day, one-night trip to Boracay totaled to three days and two nights because of sea travel. It was a long trip, but it was relaxing because, like traveling on a ship, there was no rush.
There are two kinds of travelers: one who's excited about the destination and one who loves the journey on the road (in this case, the sea) better. I think I count myself with those in the latter after traveling via ship, and I would travel on the seas again.
2GO sails to and from the country's top destinations, including Boracay, Puerto Princesa, Coron, Bohol, Roxas, Cagayan de Oro, and Odiongan from the Batangas port. Travelers coming from Manila can take a bus from PITX bound to Batangas.
Tickets to a Cabin for 4 start at P2,339.30 while a stateroom for 3 starts at P6,336.52 (Batangas to Caticlan). To book, visit travel.2go.com.
Belmont Hotel Boracay is located at Newocast Drive on the island. They have an ongoing promo for Christmas stays until Oct. 9 where rates start at P3,750 per night. To learn more, visit belmonthotelboracay.com and follow them on Facebook.