S/Y Philippine Siren
Ahhhh The Philippines. Even the name evokes visions of picturesque slices of sand, effervescent blue lagoons and of course, isles and islets that sweep across the region, over 7,000 of them in fact! After arriving into the capital of Manilla, we made the internal flight swiftly to Cebu, where we were intrigued to see what lies below the surface of the paradise that is the central Visayas region of The Philippines.
No sooner had we arrived into Cebu, our luggage was taken care of and we were smoothly transferred from the airport by car to the modern and stylish harbour hotel where we completed paperwork with ease and sipped on a cold San Miguel on the house. S/Y Philippine Siren, docked and awaiting our arrival by speedboat, dazzled against the backdrop of blue skies and bluer seas.
Stepping aboard the 40m luxury yacht to the friendly Filipino spirit and a glass of fresh juice in hand, we admired the ironwoods, chic style and distinct design of the vessel, all topped off with a scent of the salty sea.
Designed by divers for divers to provide the utmost ease and comfort while aboard, the world class safari yacht houses 8 cabins to accommodate 16 divers, each complete with climate control, entertainment system inclusive of television and en-suite bathrooms, newly refurbished and evoking elegance.
Rising early to fiery filipino skies and orange layers of light, we poured a cup of coffee and sipped in the aura of the ocean, excited for the day ahead of our 4 dives a day. The sundeck has ample space to accommodate those early risers and sun worshippers!
Cruising through the calm waters of the Visayas, divers can expect a plethora of peaceful dive conditions, craggy caves and coves of Gato Island, an abundance of colourful corals and marine life including schools of jacks and sea snakes at the impressive Apo Island and of course, the mesmerising sightings of the thresher sharks that inhabit Malapascua as well as the whale sharks of Oslob that will be sure to dwarf and dazzle.
A mesmerising medley of mammoth marine life and muck diving in search of the usual and unusual suspects, this itinerary has a myriad of mind blowing sightings. One day divers are plodding along the ocean floor in search of treasures such as the flamboyant cuttlefish, frogfish and harlequin shrimp, the next you are watching with glittering eyes, the worlds largest static sardine ball inhabiting 7 million sardines. Enthralling and hypnotic spectacles to satisfy every diver.
Surfacing from encounters like these open your mind to the world. The awe, the ambiguity, the amazement. The opportunity to freely explore the last great, undocumented, natural environment on earth is simply mind blowing. Resurfacing and once you've caught your breath of course, surface intervals can be spent chlling in the dining area, spacious lounge or ask a crew member to drop a kayak in the ocean and row your way to one of the many sandy stretches that line the coastline.
All of these salt water activities works up a thirst, so a timely sunset session to soak up the sunset at Atmosphere Resort in the Dauin region of our voyage was a welcome and wonderful way to make our way onto land for the first time in days and dip our toes into the volcanic sands.
No dive day is complete without the succulent snacks and delectable drinks served up on the daily to top off flaming Filipino nights aboard Philippines Siren. The pale pink hues sinking in the sky are a sight to behold while drinking in the last light of the days end.
Last light on the final night of this incredible journey through the central region of The Philippines. Magical moments at sea to reminisce the awe inspiring sights of the bountiful bliss that lies below the surface and the intimate interactions with the marine life and friendly folk above. The moments we share are the moments we keep forever.
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