Finally, you can now cruise from Manila to Coron on Discovery Fleet’s live aboard boat designed with the lifestyle non-diver market. Cruisin’ with your friends and family is the best way to travel around the Philippine archipelago—exploring islands by day, traveling by sea by night. https://youtu.be/Zgs8i-WGJR0 Watch the Manila-Coron cruise: Emerging Trend to Travel the Philippines: Nature Escape – Coron! We experienced the inaugural trip of Nature Escape – Coron onboard My Discovery Palawan with the following route: Batangas – Apo Reef – Calumbuyan Island – Culion – Coron Bay – Siete Pecados – Busuanga. NATURE ESCAPE – CORON Take the route less traveled and explore the Philippines’ immaculate island destinations. Discover stunning marine sanctuaries and unspoiled islands. By escaping the crowds, you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty around you even more and experience nature at its best. Our unique and exclusive itinerary takes us around Apo Reef, Calumbuyan Reef and the picturesque Siete Pecados. The gorgeous panoramic views are like no other, and the experience will always be etched in your memory. Join us on our next voyage! Starts at US$ 1,200 (₱55,000+ per person + 12% VAT). Inclusions: • 5-day/4-night accommodation • Air-conditioned Regular Cabin (twin occupancy) with private toilet and shower • Full board buffet meals (excluding drinks) • Welcome drinks • One (1) Complimentary Massage • Snorkeling and island-hopping activities *Unless otherwise indicated, lunch and dinner will be served on board. For more information, visit https://discoveryfleet.com/nature-escape-coron/. Read about our first experience Discovery Fleet bound for Visayas here: Nature Escape – Visayas: Exploring Oslob, Apo Island and Cabilao @DiscoveryFleet
Discovery Fleet Philippines Discovery Fleet is the Live-a-Board Cruise service of the Discovery Hospitality group. Discovery Fleet 4th Floor JTKC Centre 2159 Chino Roces Ave. (former Pasong Tamo), Makati City, Metro Manila Office Hours: 7:30am – 4pm (Monday – Friday), 9am – 12nn (Saturday) Telephone:+63 2 8 5195674 – 76 ext. 328, +63 2 8 4031999 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: https://discoveryfleet.com/ The boat, with single and double occupancy options, serves as your air-conditioned hotel through-out the cruise. You have your own private toilet with clean toilet and bath facilities. Plus, your own hot and cold shower with eco-friendly toiletries throughout your stay. The standard cabins have porthole windows, while the upper deck cabins have bigger windows and comfortable elevation. You can rent snorkel and dive gears. Here are the additional fees for consideration for divers or leisure travelers: Exclusions: x Rental of snorkel and dive gear x Soda and alcoholic/bar beverages x Dive accident insurance (mandatory) x Travel insurance (highly recommended) x Nitrox x Flight Ticket x Hotel x Dives (for Wellness only package) x Park Fee – for divers (must be prepaid) x Transfers to/from the boat Required: • Dive accident insurance details are required and must be submitted prior to departure; otherwise, the guest will be denied for boarding. • Divers must present their Certification Card and Log Book for our Dive Professionals to verify. • Each guest must fill out an entry permit application form and waiver provided by DFC.
DAY 1: BATANGAS Travel to Manila to Bauan Port to board My Discovery Palawan starting at 11.30 am. This is the air-conditioned assembly-dining-workspace area where you’ll meet and greet the people in the trip. Welcome lunch is served on board with a simple 3-course meal: appetizer, rice main and dessert + welcome drink. The Boat Manager, Colin, starts the briefing at around 3 pm as the boat cruises overnight to Apo Reef National Park. The best part of the cruise is sailing during sunset and enjoying the moment with family and new friends. Enjoy the sunset with cocktails, alcoholic drinks and beverages ranging from ₱80-₱275/drink. Immerse yourself into the beauty of nature, soak in the sunset every day and end the day with gratitude in your heart. Enjoyed the new friendships formed, cemented with daily bonding sessions over sunset, cocktails and good food.
Full-Board Meals The onboard culinary team serves Filipino and International comfort food and considers your dietary requirements. The soup is hearty, and the food makes you feel at home immediately. There’s always two-kinds of vegetables every meal, so you can indulge in your plant-based diet throughout the cruise. A chicken option is always on the menu, and you can eat all you can. Pork is always available in lechon, fried or adobo versions, which they do not repeat throughout the trip. A fish option is important for those looking for a healthier and lighter meal. The dessert is home-made and irresistible sometimes.
Day 2: APO REEF NATURAL PARK You wake up anchored in a calm mirrored sea at the Apo Reef Natural Park located west of Mindoro Island. We start the day with yoga and simple exercises to provide a breather to our usual busy life. It’s hard to resist their breakfast if you are on an intermittent diet. Besides, you’ll need the additional energy for the activities. A safety briefing is conducted on how to put on your life vest and what to do in case of fire and other emergencies. The boat is equipped with life raft speed boats to transport you safely from the ship to the shore. Explore Apo Mayor, the main island in Apo Reef Natural Park, with a white beach and exciting snorkeling areas. Snorkeling along the shore is excellent with the crystal clear waters and visibility of up to 50 metres that’s not uncommon. Explore the hidden lagoon passing through the mangrove forest. A perfect spot for a groufie with your new friends. The hidden lagoon is a perfect backdrop for your emo selfie and makes you wish for a raft so you can cross to the other side. You can continue your island exploration by walking along the beach to the light house. You can climb all the way to the top of the lighthouse to get an awesome 360 view of the Apo Reef and its limestone cliffs. Beach lunch is catered, and you feel pampered with this kind of quality food and service on a remote island. Most of the time we would just lie down on the beach to sunbathe and enjoy the cool waters. Go on a second snorkeling trip, and there is a good chance of seeing sharks, barracudas and turtles. End the day on a sunset sail, sitting quietly with cocktails on hand reflecting on life, blessings and opportunities. Tip: Strategize your eating plan since you could gain weight if you’ll indulge in the good buffet food throughout the trip.
DAY 3: CULION AND CALUMBUYAN ISLAND Wake up to a cool sunrise while you do some catch-up work because there is no signal at sea except in the part near Culion island. After breakfast, disembark to explore the quaint town of Culion, famous as one of the last places in Asia where they took care of leprosy patients until the 1960s. Explore the well-preserved La Inmaculada Concepcion Parish, one of the most historic and most beautiful churches in Palawan. It was built in 1933 and renovated in 2003 by Fundacion ANESVAD, Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus, Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres, the people and friends of Culion. Go around the back of the church for a scenic picture-perfect coastal view of Culion Bay. Check out In Memory of the Unborn on the left side of the church on your way to the back . I liked this spot better, with a view of the Church and the Culion hill and signage in the background. A local guide will accompany you as you go to the history hospital and the leprosy museum. Imagine how it was like to live here together with leprosy or ketong patients and witness how they were cured. Learn about the Chaulmoogra fruit, flowers and seeds, the miracle ingredients that cured leprosy. Don’t miss visiting the second floor with well-preserved memorabilia, including these microscopes. After the half-day tour of Culion island, you get back on board to have lunch en route to the next destination.
Calumbuyan Island After lunch, visit Calumbuyan Island to chill out on the beach or snorkel some more. The island has a lovely beach with plenty of shade, a simple resort and nearby snorkeling areas. Snorkel in the nearby reef that’s full of corals and different fishes to digest your heavy lunch. After the beach activities, get treated to a nice merienda on the beach. The best part of it all was the sunset beach yoga to end the awesome day. It’s great that instead of dinner on board, they decided to include an entertaining BBQ dinner on the island. At the end of the day, this room served as our workspace to download photos and videos and recharge batteries for the next day.
DAY 4: CORON BAY, KAYANGAN LAKE, SIETE PECADOS Best to wake up early to see the awesome approach to Coron Bay as you enjoy the sunrise breakfast on the deck. Best to be in Kayangan when it opens at 8.00 am to beat the tourist crowd that leaves Coron port at 8.00 am. At the midpoint of the 367 steps hike, don’t miss to take the iconic Coron shot before the long selfie queue starts to form. Enjoy the lesser crowd, better visibility and warm sunlight at Kayangan lake surrounded by the majestic limestone cliffs. Dare to free dive to see the mysterious limestone cliffs under the lake. After lunch on board, you can take a short nap before visiting Siete Pecados for snorkeling or you can just decide to chill for the rest of the day until the special farewell cocktails and dinner.
Final Thoughts Overall, cruisin’ around the islands with full board service and hotel-like amenities is the emerging new way to travel around the archipelago. I love the bonding moments and real talk with friends and new-found friends. The food is awesome and you’ll feel pampered with the culinary team of Discovery fleet. The cruise director and adventure guides are well trained, and they provide friendly expert service to make your trip hassle-free. Ang galing! NATURE ESCAPE – CORON Take the route less traveled and explore the Philippines’ immaculate island destinations. Discover stunning marine sanctuaries and unspoiled islands. By escaping the crowds, you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty around you even more and experience nature at its best. Our unique and exclusive itinerary takes us around Apo Reef, Calumbuyan Reef and the picturesque Siete Pecados. The gorgeous panoramic views are like no other, and the experience will always be etched in your memory. Join us on our next voyage! Starts at US$ 1,200 (₱55,000+ per person + 12% VAT). Inclusions: • Welcome drink • Tea, coffee, purified drinking water and juice • 4-night air-conditioned accommodation with private toilet and shower • Full board meals (buffet) for the whole cruise (Meal service starts with lunch on the first day; ends with breakfast on the last day) • For wellness package: One (1) complimentary 30-minute massage and wellness session. Daily yoga session on the ship or beach. Pop up beach set up. • Snorkeling and island hopping activities Exclusions: x Rental of snorkel and dive gear x Soda and alcoholic/bar beverages x Dive accident insurance (mandatory) x Travel insurance (highly recommended) x Nitrox x Flight Ticket x Hotel x Dives (for Wellness only package) x Park Fee – for divers (must be prepaid) x Transfers to/from the boat Required: • Dive accident insurance details are required and must be submitted prior departure; otherwise, the guest will be denied for boarding. • Divers must present their Certification Card and Log Book for our Dive Professionals to verify. • Each guest must fill out an entry permit application form and waiver provided by DFC. Note: ~Corkage Fee is USD20.00 per bottle and a dollar per can of beer. ~Satellite Phone Charges: Phone call is USD10.00 for the first 2mins. & USD5.00 for every minutes after. USD3.00 per txt message (of 180 characters) ~In our efforts to help the environment, we do not sell/provide plastic water bottles onboard our ships. We encourage you to pack a reusable water bottle to use on your voyage. We do have available water bottles to lend or purchase. Discovery Fleet 4th Floor JTKC Centre 2159 Chino Roces Ave. (former Pasong Tamo), Makati City, Metro Manila Office Hours: 7:30am – 4pm (Monday – Friday), 9am – 12nn (Saturday) Telephone:+63 2 8 5195674 – 76 ext. 328, +63 2 8 4031999 Email: email@example.com Website: https://discoveryfleet.com/ Live an Awesome Life, Founder, Our Awesome Planet Disclosure: OAP is a media partner of Nature Escape. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights. P.S. Don’t forget to explore the night life of Coron. Wifi and dinner at Buzz Sunday Mass at San Agustin Parish Church Plant-based diet dinner at Le Voyage After all the buffet eating, enjoy a simple nourishing meal. Chill and jam at Sharky’s Party at Hop Hostel roof deck bar! Meet new friends and welcome tourists to Coron. 🙂