There’s no arguing the fact that a liveaboard vacation is the most exotic way to explore the uncharted territories of the ocean. By spending 7-10 days on a cruise with people who share the same passion for scuba diving, you have the liberty to add more dives to your career and make friends for a lifetime.
Today, liveaboard vacations are available in almost every part of the world and it is often a challenge for divers to pick the right destination. If you’re struggling with the same dilemma, we are here to help. In this guide, we are going to share some useful insights into Philippines liveaboard cruises and why they are among the best options for every diving enthusiast. So, be ready with your scuba gear because by the end of this article you’ll be booking your tickets to the Philippines to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
What Makes Philippines a Popular Liveaboard Destination for Divers?
Now, when it comes to choosing a liveaboard destination, the majority of divers want to pick a place that could deliver an unforgettable experience without burning a hole in their wallets. Believe it or not, the Philippines fits this description just right.
The country has as many as 7,100 different islands that are surrounded by the sparkling blue water of the Pacific Ocean. Located in the Coral Triangle, marine diversity is something you’ll always encounter during diving safari. The reefs that surround these islands comprise 9% of global coral reefs and 2,200 different varieties of fish. So, if you primarily go scuba diving to enjoy the marine diversity, the Philippines is simply one of the best destinations.
Some of the additional factors that make the Philippines an ideal liveaboard destination include:
Cheap prices are probably the major reason why Philippines liveaboards attract a lot of backpackers and solo travelers. As compared to other countries like the USA and Australia, some of the liveaboard tour operators (but not all) charge comparatively fewer bucks in Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines. So, even if you are on a tight budget and do not want to spend thousands of dollars on a liveaboard vacation, a trip to the Philippines won’t put a burden on your pocket.
As we mentioned earlier, marine diversity is one of the major USPs of Philippines liveaboard tours. With more than 7,000 different islands to explore, you can encounter a wide variety of marine species which include blacktip reef sharks, turtles, manta rays, spanish dancers, dolphins, eagle rays, whale, thresher and hammerhead sharks, etc. And the macro life is second to none, with countless species of shrimps, nudibranchs, cuttlefish, frogfish etc. All these species are scattered throughout the stretch of the Pacific Ocean and you are most likely to spot them while diving in the various regions here.
The Philippines is also popular for the diversity in its coral reefs and underwater Japanese WWII wrecks. Coron, a popular diving spot in the country, is an oasis for all divers who want to take a trip back in history as you’ll find dozens of first class shipwrecks there.
Multiple Diving Spots
Unlike other countries, the Philippines is home to a wide variety of world class diving spots which include Coron, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (a World Heritage Site and ranked among the top 10 dive destinations in the world), Visayas, Batangas – Bicol, etc. All these diving spots offer different elements that’ll make your diving experience memorable. And, with this many options available for diving in the Philippines, you’ll also have the liberty to choose back-to-back diving cruises and create an itinerary that covers several locations.
This is another reason why you may want to choose the Philippines over other potential liveaboard destinations. As of 2022, the country offers visa-on-arrival to citizens of many different countries. These travelers can stay for as long as 59 days in the country and explore any region without any hassles. Obtaining a visa on-arrival is a hassle-free task and tourists don’t have to go through much effort to get their applications approved.
What’s the Best Time to Plan a Liveaboard Vacation to the Philippines?
So, now that you know why a liveaboard trip in the Philippines would be a great choice, let’s understand what’s the best time to plan your vacation. Although cruises are available throughout the year, if you want to maximize the fun and avoid unexpected accidents, it would be better to avoid planning your trip during the monsoon period. In the rainy season, typhoons are pretty common in several regions of the country and they may damage your entire holiday. That’s why it’s ideal to plan your liveaboard trip to the Philippines during the dry season, which usually lasts from late-October to May.
Apart from that, some of the destinations do have closed seasons, and there are some seasonal factors too. For example, Tubbataha can only be dived between March and June, and the period from December to June is the best time to see hammerhead sharks in the Visayas.
The past 2years have been a rollercoaster ride for everyone on the planet. Many adventure-seekers had no other option but to sit inside the comfort of their home after getting attacked by a global pandemic. But, now that many countries have lifted up their COVID-19 curbs, you can get back into your adventure shoes. The Philippines will no doubt be re-opening its doors soon too, so now is a good time to plan a liveaboard cruise to enjoy one of the best experiences of your life.