I’ve sailed with many fancy cruise ships—that spoiled me with luxury, service and unmatched comfort—all over the world. But nothing really comes close to the rawness and one-of-a-kind encounters that I’ve experienced on board the much smaller and more intimate liveaboards like Discovery Fleet.

Now obviously we can’t compare luxury cruises and liveaboards because they are on different categories, but for someone like me who is new to this industry, they do have a lot of similarities. It’s only been my second time on a liveaboard but I’ve already grown fond of the concept of living on a small ship that sails across the beautiful islands of the Philippines.

And ever since I’ve been wanting to try out Discovery Fleet’s Nature Escape: Cebu with the following route: Mactan – Oslob – Sumilon – Apo Island – Cabilao – Mactan.

Read about our first experience Discovery Fleet bound for Coron here:
Nature Escape – Coron: Emerging Trend in Exploring the Philippines! @ Discovery Fleet

 

DISCOVERY FLEET
 4th Floor JTKC Centre, 2159 Chino Roces Ave., Makati City, Metro Manila
Office Hours: 7:30 am – 4 pm (Monday – Friday), 9 am – 12nn (Saturday)
Telephone:+63 2 8 5195674 – 76 ext. 328, +63 2 8 4031999
Websitehttps://discoveryfleet.com/
Email[email protected]

NATURE ESCAPE – CEBU

Explore awesome marine sanctuaries and idyllic secluded islands like never before—away from the busy crowds. From the surface or deeper depths, experience nature at its finest.

Our exclusive and unique itinerary took us around Sumilon Island, Apo Island and the azure waters of Cabilao. Trust us, the picturesque and panoramic views never get old. You’ll want to add this to your bucket list!

Join us on our next voyage! Starts at US$ 1,200 (₱55,000+ per person + 12% VAT).

Inclusions:
• 5-day/4-night accommodation
• Snorkeling and island-hopping activities
• Full board buffet meals (excluding drinks)
• Welcome drinks | One (1) Complimentary Massage
• Air-conditioned Regular Cabin (twin occupancy) with private toilet and shower
*Unless otherwise indicated, lunch and dinner will be served on board.

Discovery Fleet owns and operates two ships, and for shorter trips like this, they normally use the smaller yet nimble “Discover Palawan,” the same familiar ship that we used for our first ever liveaboard that explored the depths of Coron and the UNESCO world heritage site, Apo reef.

Read about the interior of the ship and our trip itinerary in Coron here:
Nature Escape – Coron: Emerging Trend in Exploring the Philippines! @ Discovery Fleet


DAY 1: MACTAN

Travel to Cebu Yacht Club, Mactan by plane (own expense) to board the Discover Palawan ship bound for South Cebu.

After the boarding and the safety briefing, we then proceeded to the ship deck and performed the mandatory muster drill that was conducted by The Boat Manager, Colin.

We boarded the ship late in the afternoon so there was nothing much for us to do other than to rest for the early call time the next day.


DAY 2: OSLOB / SUMILON

We reached Oslob early in the morning, and by the time we woke up, the crew had already prepared everything that we needed for the whale shark encounter.

Unlike most tourists, we didn’t have to wait in line for hours and personally line up at the office in Oslob. Instead, the briefing was held onboard the ship.

After a quick and light breakfast, we then geared up for one of my favorite things to do in Cebu.

It was particularly gloomy and wavy when we arrived in Oslob, so we were kind of doubtful if we would still be able to witness the gentle giants.

Luckily, the sky cleared and the crew had already prepared everything for us, so we were still able to swim with the whale sharks.

Since we came from the ship with our own small boats, we didn’t have to go all the way to the crowded main feeding area.

Instead, they directed us to a more private and less crowded part of the feeding area but with only 2 to 4 whale sharks.

I’ve been to Oslob countless times but it never fails to amaze me each time I visit these majestic creatures.

After Oslob, we then went back to the ship for a quick shower and the first of many bountiful feasts!

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all part of the package and are often served on deck by their in-house chef who carefully selects the diet plan for each trip.

In the afternoon, we decided to join a discovery scuba class headed by Boat Captain/Divemaster Colin himself.

Discover Scuba is perfect for anyone who wants to try scuba diving but isn’t quite ready to take the official certification course just yet.

All in all, it was a 1-hour lecture and test, followed by a quick 20-minute underwater familiarization dive in calm shallow waters.

It was a relaxing dive and was long enough to give us a grasp of how diving feels. Plus, the beautiful reefs of Sumilon certainly did help make the experience more memorable.

After our dive, we then proceeded to Sumilon Island to end the day with a relaxing sunset yoga by the beach.


DAY 3: APO ISLAND

On our third full day, we woke up to a stunning view of the world-renowned Apo Island in the background.

They served us a hearty breakfast and prepared all our swimming gears just before we headed out to a full day of snorkeling and exploration.

Apo Island is a small island off the coast of Negros Island and is renowned as the very first and most successful marine sanctuary in the Philippines.

Due to its protected status, the coral reefs are healthy while the fish life is prolific.

It is also one of the top diving and snorkeling destinations in the Philippines when it comes to swimming with turtles.

Aside from the abundant marine life, we also enjoyed interacting with the locals and exploring the only fishing village on the island.

And before we knew it, it was already a day well spent learning about marine life and interacting with the locals while relaxing by the beach.

Come afternoon, we all started heading back to the ship to go to our next and final destination for the day.

For dinner, the crew prepared a special BBQ night for us at Silver Reef resort in Dauin, Negros Oriental.

It was a fun evening, with free-flowing drinks and laughter among the crew and all the other guests, which happily continued late into the night.


DAY 4: CABILAO

It was our last full day aboard the Discovery Fleet, and once again we were greeted by a picture-perfect morning view of Cabilao Island in Bohol.

It was my first time to hear about Cabilao, so I was really excited to see what was in store for us in this quaint little island.

There weren’t many tourists when we visited the island. In fact, there were more local kids playing around than the entire crew and guests of our ship combined.

Aside from the local houses, a basketball court and a small weaving shop, there isn’t really anything much built on the island.

But I totally get why this place is such a popular destination to unwind and disconnect for tourists.

For lunch, the crew prepared an island buffet just before we head out for a whole day of swimming and snorkeling.

Snorkeling in the reef that was full of corals and marine wildlife was the perfect way to burn all the food that we consumed during the past few days.

But the best part of it all was the relaxing sunset beach yoga that capped our Discovery Fleet Cebu experience.

As we slowly head back to Mactan, we all just sat down and watched the beautiful sunset behind the scenic islands that surrounded us.


Final Thoughts

Overall, I’m really impressed by how well planned our trip was. From the itinerary to the food selection, everything was just seamless.

I’ve visited some of the places we went to before, but I enjoyed each of the locations as if it was my first.

What really made the trip special was the genuine hospitality that the crew showered us with throughout the trip. I think it’s what sets it apart from the rest of the diving tours out there.

The crew’s friendliness and attentiveness never went unnoticed. I can recall how they would anticipate everything we needed and go beyond what was expected of them like loaning us some small amount of cash in case we forgot to bring our wallets from the ship during one of the island excursions.

To top it all off, they were also very consistent in cleaning our cabins. Despite the ship being 50++ years old, I would have to say the cleanliness more than made up for it.

 

DISCOVERY FLEET
 4th Floor JTKC Centre, 2159 Chino Roces Ave., Makati City, Metro Manila
Office Hours: 7:30 am – 4 pm (Monday – Friday), 9 am – 12nn (Saturday)
Telephone:+63 2 8 5195674 – 76 ext. 328, +63 2 8 4031999
Websitehttps://discoveryfleet.com/
Email[email protected]

 

Live an Awesome Life,

abi signature
NICO of Team Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: Our stay was courtesy of the good people of Discovery Fleet. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.

NOTES

You can rent snorkel and dive gears. Here are the additional fees for consideration for divers or leisure travelers:

Exclusions:
Rental of snorkel and dive gear
Soda and alcoholic/bar beverages
Dive accident insurance (mandatory)
Travel insurance (highly recommended)
Dive Gear & Nitrox
Flight Ticket & Hotels
Dives (for Wellness only package)
Park Fee – for divers (must be prepaid)
Transfers to/from the boat

Requirements:
Dive accident insurance details are required and must be submitted prior to departure; otherwise, the guest will be denied 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.

For more information, visit https://discoveryfleet.com/nature-escape-cebu/.