A few backpackers in search of adventure plunged there more than twenty years. Today, the Philippines are offered by all specialized travel agencies. It is clear that divers from all over the world go there every year more.
While diving safaris and shore stays were the only options until recently, cruises are developing in the country of 7107 islands, which seems logical. So we went to soak our fins on the only French-speaking boat in the Philippines to present it to you ...
Follow us. You are invited aboard the SEADOORS.
The Seadoors seen from the sky
With its twenty-five meters long and three decks, the Seadoors is a comfortable boat which, a huge advantage, also turns out to be very stable.
When Pierlo, the young thirty-year-old manager is on board, the diving staff is made up of a state certificate and two dive guides, Jonathan, a Bordeaux resident and Andrew who is Filipino. Eight crew members come to reinforce the team. Ariel, the captain, Ryan, Ding Dong, Belbert, Choy, Ramon… they are all nicer and more helpful than the others!
The SEADOORS, a diving cruise yacht, has eight comfortable, air-conditioned cabins with private showers and toilets, hot water, a double bed and a single bed in each cabin, as well as two luxury cabins. A nice air-conditioned audio-video lounge also, for relaxation, a dining room and an outdoor bar on the aft poop, plus a sundeck and a solarium at the bow which complete the picture, not to mention the many amenities for photographers and videographers
In terms of diving equipment, the SEADOORS is really well equipped. You will find recent equipment for rent, nitrox, SUEX scooters, a booster and Pierlo being a Megalodon diver, if you too indulge in the joys of the recycler, you will be welcome.
The food on board the Seadoors
The dining room is ideally located, outside, on the first level. All meals are served as a buffet and, from breakfast to dinner, including lunch and afternoon tea, the chef goes to great lengths, which is evident from the quality of the plates.
All meals offer a multitude of different dishes, often with Asian accents. Fish, meat, squid, shrimp, fruit, pancakes, fresh fruit juice… nothing is missing. It is pure happiness for the taste buds.
Cruise long trip Visayas
Until now, all cruises on the SEADOORS have lasted for seven days and six nights, but at the request of customers, Pierlo has developed this twelve-day and eleven-night tour.
Departing from Cebu, this cruise allows you to discover Malapascua, Leyte, Camigin, Bohol, Cabilao and Apo Island ...
Three to four dives are offered daily. The SEADOORS has two fiber tenders eight meters long, fast and comfortable. This tour offers the best of the Philippines: Malapascua thresher sharks, Leyte and Oslob whale sharks, Balicasag turtles… and of course all the flora and fauna that make this destination a must-see for divers the world over.
Focus on the pygmy hyppocampus
Everyone has their own fad and I must confess that when I dive in Asia, the pygmy seahorse is one of my favorites. Over the years, I can distinguish them less and less, but it's still a pleasure to discover them afterwards, when viewing the macro images! In this case, what was my surprise to discover on the video below a colony of caprelles which, underwater, made me think that the gorgon was dirty ...
Pygmy seahorses, hippocampus bargibanti, are seahorses of the Syngnathidae family that live in the western central Pacific. They are tiny, measuring no more than 2,4 cm. There are two known color variations: gray with red tubercles on gorgonian coral muricella plectana and with yellow-orange tubers on the gorgonian coral muricella paraplectana. The Gorgonian Pygmy Seahorse has a carnivorous diet and feeds on small crustaceans, drifting fish eggs, and other planktonic organisms. This species is known to breed only on gorgonian corals of the genus Muricella, and has evolved to resemble its host. The tubercles and truncated snout of this species match the color and shape of their host's polyps, while its body matches the stem of gorgonians.
The goblets, ghost shrimp or skeleton shrimp for the anglophones, are small marine crustaceans mostly detritivores when they live on the algae, macrophytes, when they are found on the bottom or on the reefs.These are often small species, being able to measure one to a few millimeters, even two centimeters. They are very discrete and are generally confused with the seaweed or the substrate by mimicry.
In the middle of a tuna hunt
The Philippines is full of surprises. During a dive, we were surrounded by a hundred tunas, or even more, in full hunting activity ...
They were about eighty centimeters long and I must admit that this is the first time in my life as a diver that I have seen so many!
For lovers of small critters of all kinds, this is often the highlight of a diving trip to the Philippines. Several are on the program, including diving under the Padre Burgos quay which is known the world over.
The list would be too long to establish here, this country being often presented as the realm of the macro.
Visayas Long Trip, excursions in addition
Also suitable for non-divers, this trip has the particularity of offering days of shore excursions. Indeed, the tempo is clearly announced. Three days of diving then a day of excursion followed by three days of diving and so on ...
Pierlo, expertly assisted by Joanne, have set up a program of excursions which will allow you to discover many different aspects of this country during these three days. On the program, dry caves, waterfalls and waterfalls, churches, markets, the meeting of tarsiers but also pythons, a lunch on a boat on the Lobok river, natural hot springs ... it does not stop and in the evening when we finally get back on the boat, we are quite happy to go to bed.
The different circuits
SEADOORS offers several cruises in the Philippine archipelago, grouped in two areas and two seasons well defined in the year, and two cruises transition between these two periods
1 - Tubbataha from March to June. These world-famous Atolls, located in the center of the SULU Sea, are at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2 - THE VISAYAS, in July and August and from October to March, with several circuits:
Malapascua , CAMIGUIN, VISAYAS LONG TRIP on beautiful sites
3 - Transition cruises SEA OF SULU departing from Cebu in March, departing from Palawan in June, for an unforgettable journey exploring Tubbataha, the Cagayans as well as the Visayas.
Tubbataha 7 days - 6 nights from 1900 € *
VISAYAS MALAPASCUA ou CAMIGUIN 7 days - 6 nights from 1700 € *
VISAYAS LONG TRIP 13 days - 12 nights from 3200 € *
* except air
Did this report make you want to go see for yourself? So don't hesitate, you won't be disappointed. Click on the logo below to discover the Seadoors website.
Head-to-head with Pierlo
The SEADOORS adventure
Your diving experience?
Is the Philippines exclusively macro?
Souvenir: release of a whale shark
It was in 2015 and this video went around the world.
If, during your stay in the Philippines, you pass by Manila, do not miss to go see LauLau, at Café Curieux. This Toulousain, an excellent friend of Pierlo, will welcome you with his accent to cut with a knife and the place deserves to make a gourmet stop. However, be careful with mixed rums… they are too good, hence the danger…