There is no doubt that it’s more fun in the Philippines. When it comes to pristine white beaches, enthusiastic surfing waves and best dive sites, the Philippines has something to brag about. Needless to say, our country boasts a rich natural resources of lush forest and panoramic sights. Thanks to the 7107 islands which are divided into three different regions; LUZVIMINDA regions Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Having said that these regions have a fantastic cruise vacation destination just waiting to be discovered.
Cruising in the Philippine may not be so easy for everybody. It requires so much time, effort and money too. Last year, I embarked myself on a long ferry and bus rides which I did not plan in the first place. Looking at things in a wider perspective, I wanted to nurse the thought of traveling from Luzon, visiting the central Visayas and arriving at the silent hills of Mindanao. I liked the idea of having to experience cruising and sailing in the Philippines. Thus I have worked so hard to check the route we have to take from Luzon to Mindanao. Thanks to Mr. C of Lakad Pilipinas who joined me for several days just to be part of grandest annual event in Zamboanga Del Norte, the Hudyaka Festival.
Although I tried riding riding RORO vessels during a trip from Bacolod to Cebu in the past, I still want to enjoy the cruising experience a little bit longer. This extraordinary exploration seems to be very tiring but worth it. RORO vessels have built-in ramps which allow the cargo to be efficiently “rolled on” and “rolled off” the vessel when in port. While smaller ferries that operate across rivers and other short distances often have built-in ramps, the term RORO is generally reserved for larger ocean-going vessels. The ramps and doors may be stern-only, or bow and stern for quick loading.
Admittedly, this may not be a luxurious cruise holiday like Cheap cruises from Cruise kings but there are quite a few small ship cruise operators around and that is something you can find online. Some of these operators have itineraries available including onshore activities, so why not savor the moments and embrace life in one of these great adventures before coming onboard or after disembarkation.
I share with you the fare and expenses of our epic RORO trip from Luzon to Mindanao. I have a separate blog entries and itineraries for each destination we came across with for your own reference. I hope that I was able to help you in my own little way the joy of cruising the island Philippines via RORO.
***Fare as of June 2012
Manila- Batangas [bus ride ALPS Cubao Terminal] Php175 | Travel time 2-3 hours
Batangas- Calapan Mindoro via Montenegro Shipping Lines | Travel time 2hours ( Daily trips every 2 hours)
Calapan- Roxas via private van| Travel time takes 4hours *Please take note that we bought our ticket from Batangas-Calapan-Roxas in package for Php475
Roxas- Caticlan via Super shuttle ferry| Travel time takes 2hours | Php400
Caticlan-Iloilo via Ceres bus Lines | Travel time takes 5hours | Php346
Iloilo- Bacolod via Fast craft at Php310 | Travel time takes 2 hours * Please note that last trip is at 6pm ( we were stranded in Iloilo until the next morning. Early trip to Bacolod is at 6 in the morning.
Bacolod-Dumaguete via Ceres bus is at Php 260 Travel time takes 5-6 hours
Dumaguete- Dapitan via fast craft at Php394 |Travel time takes 4 hours
Dapitan- Cebu via fast craft George and Peter Lines at Php660 | Travel time takes 6 hours
Until now, I still can’t imagine I traveled and survived the RORO experience. If given another chance I would want to travel the Philippines from Luzon to Mindanao again. I guess this time it would be smoother and next time I will give myself plenty of time to explore each of my destination. More detailed posts about my cruising experience in the Philippines shortly.