Cruising Destination of the Month: Philippines
Unexplored wonders in the Philippines luxury yacht charter grounds
These days it's difficult to find a holiday destination that hasn't already been altered by tourism, however the Philippines charter grounds is an expansive archipelago of more than 7,500 islands, less than a third of which are inhabited and all just a short journey away from powdery white beaches and amazing biodiversity both above and beneath the sea.
Colonial architecture, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and nature parks pepper the coastline and rice terraces and volcanoes are just waiting to be seen by those who venture inland. The contrasts between village and city ensure that each day is a new adventure, bursting with flavoursome local cuisine, lively nightlife and tranquil spas.
Divemaster and photographer Melissa White (Explorer yacht SEAWOLF) recorded her visit to 10 of the islands to provide insight on what the region has to offer visitors on an East Asian luxury yacht charter.
Situated to the north an encompassing the capital city of Manila and the surrounding islands, there is also a large island named Luzon which provides an excellent starting point with remote beaches, verdant forests and snorkelling sites revealing myriad of marine species, among them octopus and turtles. Superyacht charters can visit at any time of the year and find warm weather, however the gentle whale sharks are mostly spotted in the Philippines during February and May.
"...We explored the lush jungles where the monkeys swung through the trees and became a regular visitor to the boat," said Melissa White, who recorded her experiences among 10 of the islands. "We then made our way south to Palawan with a few stops in between. Apo Island, an island so small you can barely see it on the charts, rewarded us with stunning white sand beaches and crystal blue waters. However, for an island so small it has the largest reef system in the Philippines at 34 square kilometres."
Guests have one golden beach after another to themselves at Lusong Island and the transparent seas are as enticing for adrenaline seekers as they are for those looking for a languid day of fishing and relaxation. A cruise will take you past Popototan Island to the main island of Coron where guests will discover the haunting WWII ship wrecks that Scuba divers the world over come to explore.
"Amongst the impressive diving we visited white sand beaches, fishing villages, and witnessed countless numbers of bancas (Philippine fishing boats) passing by. By boat we cruised along the water’s edge admiring the traditional brightly coloured water front homes. Our first stop in Palawan was El Nido. This eclectic diving town is surrounded by steep karst cliffs, lagoons and world class diving spots. A walk down the beach is lined by dive shops, restaurants and boutique shops where divers and backpackers can be seen by the numbers.
"Just a short scooter ride away through the jungles and rice fields you can find yourself on secluded beaches and untouched waterfalls. Making our way to the east side of Palawan we stopped in Calibangbangan where we were surround by uninhabited islands with just one island having a small village to visit getting to meet all the school children as they are walking home after a day of classes. Finishing off the cruise we ended on a more luxurious note on the private island of Banwa. Having the whole island to ourselves we relaxed in ocean-view infinity pools and explored all the amenities the island provided."
Just a short scooter ride away through the jungles and rice fields you can find yourself on secluded beaches and untouched waterfalls. Making our way to the east side of Palawan we stopped in Calibangbangan where we were surround by uninhabited islands with just one island having a small village to visit getting to meet all the school children as they are walking home after a day of classes. Finishing off the cruise we ended on a more luxurious note on the private island of Banwa. Having the whole island to ourselves we relaxed in ocean view infinity pools and explored all the amenities the island provided.
To explore this breath-taking charter grounds to its fullest requires a vessel with a comprehensive water toys and equipment selection, such as expedition yacht SEAWOLF. Her on board facilities span five decks and include a 5m/17ft sundeck swimming pool with spa jets, an upper deck Master suite with private salon and galley.
Waverunners, kayaks, snorkelling equipment and Scuba diving equipment are among the extensive water toys collection, along with the more sedate fishing equipment and inflatable toys for unwinding beside the sparkling beaches.
The accommodation sleeps up to 12 guests over 6 en-suite cabins, and a crew of 15 will be on-hand to provide impeccable service, whether during a cruise or a spectacular dockside event.
To find out more about luxury yacht charters in the Philippines, contact the expert brokers at CharterWorld.
Article written by Rachael Steel/CharterWorld.com
For more information about cruising options and services in the Philippines please contact APSA members:
ISS GMT I Jacqueline.Wenlock@flyissgmt.com
Asia Pacific Superyachts I firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note SEAWOLF is available for charter with YACHTZOO.