Airplanes will get us there faster but ships are still the best way to travel in an island-archipelago like the Philippines. This was one good lesson I learned during my last Cebu trip. In a province like mine which has no airport, fast ferries were a boon and took me to my destination in no time at all.
Fast ferries are “twin-hulled catamarans measuring an average of 35 to 45 meters in length and cruising at speeds of up to 34 knots (63 kilometers per hour).” They’re deemed to be better than your ordinary ship because they cut travel time by more than 50 per cent. Not to mention the fact that they’re affordable and offer great services and amenities such as full airconditioning, TV viewing and comfortable seats.
In the Visayas, ferries like Supercat, Weesam Express and Oceanjet take travellers from Cebu to other sought-after ports of entry like Tagbilaran, Bohol; Dumaguete; Iloilo; Bacolod; Siquijor; and Ormoc, Leyte, among others. Coming from our remote place in Southern Leyte, I caught the bus to Bato, Leyte where a Kinswell ferry took me in barely three hours to Cebu, just in time for me to catch my afternoon flight to Manila.
The good thing about these ferry connections is that the islands and tourist spots are now more accessible than ever.
And the increasing competition can only mean greater blessings to consumers as shipping companies outdo each other in laying out irresistible travel offers.
Negros Navigation, for instance, now docks directly in Caticlan where the world-famous island of Boracay is located. It also goes head to head with Superferry in offering the Coron, palawan cruise package.
Supercat also launched recently its one hour Batangas-Calapan, Calapan-Batangas route which are convenient jump-off points for Puerto Galera and the RORO going to Boracay.
Things can only get better for travellers. Biyahe na! (Let’s all go on a trip)