When planning for a vacation, one would usually hop online to book a flight. Typically, flights from Manila to Cebu and vice versa would cost over P5,000 altogether, but there are different options for those who want to spend less on their fare: sea travel.
For those who haven't tried riding on a ferry, it's vastly different from air travel. It usually takes longer—a plane ride to Caticlan typically takes an hour while a ship ride would take about 10 hours. In addition, you're not confined to a chair and you can roam around and gaze upon the beautiful seas as you please.
Booking a ferry ride
There are different companies offering ferry rides every day like 2GO Travel and FastCat. On 2GO Travel's website, you can check out their daily schedule and book a ticket online. Tickets are also available at 2GO outlets nationwide.
Those in the metro have the option to board ferries located in Manila or Batangas. During a press junket, 2GO Travel offered PhilSTAR L!fe a quick getaway to Boracay boarding their ship from the Batangas International Port to the Caticlan Jetty Port.
Unlike NAIA, the Batangas port was not as busy and filled with people, and the whole process of getting our tickets, checking in, and boarding took about less than an hour. However, it's still recommended for passengers to check-in at least four hours before their departure.
Accommodations and pricing
As for the prices, a Business Class accommodation for two (with twin beds, your own bathroom, and charging stations) on the 2GO Maligaya vessel to Cebu costs a total of P2,481.
Those on a budget can opt for a Mega Value Class ticket (P1,579 including taxes and other fees), but this entails not having your own private room.
Meals are also included depending on the schedule of your trip. Our trip to Boracay began at around 8 p.m. and arrived on the island at around 8 a.m. so dinner and breakfast at the vessel's Horizon Cafe were included.
@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
Passengers paying the full fare are entitled to carry up to 50kg of baggage with dimensions no more than 20x30 inches per piece. Pets are also allowed on board but they have to be in a carrier and have quarantine certificates from the Bureau of Animal Industry and a bill of lading.
If you easily get sick on travels, it's best to take an antiemetic like Bonamine before going on board. While on the boat, there are times when you'll feel it rock beneath your feet but since these vessels are bigger, you won't feel them as much.
You're also allowed to move around the boat, visiting their different facilities and getting fresh sea air. Trips usually take about ten hours or more, depending on where you're going, so it's the perfect time to catch some must-needed rest.
Ships also don't have WiFi on board and cellular signal is usually spotty, especially when you're in the middle of the sea. Prepare a good book, download some movies, send those texts early, and get ready to be off the grid for a few hours.