Travel advice

Philippines FAQs

We hope to answer any general questions you may have about our Philippine Siren liveaboard or travelling in the Philippines. You may also visit our general FAQs page or contact our reservations team who will be happy to assist you.

Philippines – FAQs

1. How far is the departure point from arrival Airports

  • For all Cebu departures, our office is situated approximately 10 minutes taxi ride from the Mactan International Airport. A transfer is provided free of charge.
  • Those departing for our 6-night Tubbataha trips will arrive into Puerto Princesa Airport, from where a free transfer is arranged to the departure point. The transfer takes approximately 20 minutes.
All transfers, irrespective of departure point, can be arranged on your behalf. Be sure to let our reservations team know your flight arrival times!

2. What should I bring with me to the Philippines?

We recommend our guests bring as little luggage as possible for their liveaboard safari. Light clothing and a sweater for cooler evenings would be sufficient. A laundry service is offered on board, whilst t-shirts may be purchased in the yacht boutique. We provide shower gel in cabins and deck bathrooms, however guests are advised to bring their own personal toiletries. The Philippine Siren has a full compliment of basic medical supplies that is available for guest use free of charge, however any prescription medication should be brought with you.

3. What dive experience level is recommended for Philippine Liveaboard trips?

Whilst most dive trips are suitable for divers of all levels, beginners may find some dives challenging and prefer to skip the dive. The trips vary greatly so please read through our recommendations:-

Tubbataha

Typical diving is down by drift along reef walls. Some strong currents may occur and there are deep dives available. Recommended for divers of Advanced – Professional level.


Southern Visayas

Recommended for all divers. An excellent place for beginners. Typically little or mild current and many sites are very shallow.


Malapascua

Suitable for all divers, however thresher shark cleaning stations at Monad Shoal lay at (25m / 90ft) and therefore beyond beginner-level depths. Advanced diver training is recommended.

4. Is it possible to take a dive course whilst on board Philippine Siren?

Yes. Our cruise director is a PADI dive instructor and can offer Advanced Open Water and diver speciality courses. Pre-booking is essential to ensure the instructor and necessary training materials are on board for your trip. Most of our Philippines itineraries are not suitable for entry level courses, however it may be possible on Southern Visayas trips to complete the Open Water dives portion of your course with a referral from your instructor. Pre-booking essential.

5. Are a reef hook and/or surface marker buoy (SMB) necessary items of equipment and can you provide them on board?

It is recommended that each buddy team dive with a SMB in order to signal to the dive tenders you are ready to surface. Some boat traffic is to be expected in busier areas however it is not necessary to drift with your SMB for the entire dive time. SMBs are provided free of charge. Reef hooks are not typically required but divers taking our Tubbataha itinerary may find them useful.

6. What tanks are available for guest use?

12l aluminium tanks are standard aboard Philippine Siren. We have 4 x 15l tanks available for guest use free of charge; pre-booking is recommended to ensure the tank is available for you. Each tank is suitable for both DIN and International regulators with no need for separate adapter.

7. What kind of food is served on board the Philippine Siren?

Each meal is served buffet style in the rear deck dining area. Hot breakfast and eggs to cooked to order starts the day, lunches offer at least 2 choices of chicken, fish or red meat with salads and vegetable accompaniement. Evening meals consist of 3 courses:soup; entree; dessert. A choice of 2-3 entrees and a selection of side dishes are available with some evenings following a theme, to include Filipino specialities. Each trip offers a freshly prepared BBQ. Fresh fruit, snacks and cookies are available throughout the day.

8. What refreshments are available on board?

A wide selection of carbonated soft drinks (coke, coke light, sprite, tonic, soda) and fruit juices are available. Guests simply help themselves to items from our fridges. Freshly brewed coffee, black and herbal teas and hot chocolate are also available free of charge. San Miguel and Red Horse lagers are provided in cans and guests may help themselves at no cost. Wines and spirits are also available and additional charges apply.

9. Do you have Internet facilities on board & what is the mobile phone coverage?

There is NO guest internet available on board. We have satellite connection for emergencies only. Mobile ‘phone Signal strength varies throughout each cruise but is typically stronger when in close proximity to major islands, such as Cebu, Negros or Palawan.

10. How may I pay on board for marine park fees, merchandise and services?

Any park fees, merchandise, services and alcoholic beverages purchased on board should be settled at the end of your cruise. All prices are in Euro, however guests may choose to pay in Euro, GBP, US$, AU$ or Philippine Peso. Credit card payments are also accepted however a fee of 3,5% will be levied to your final bill.

11. What is the custom regarding tipping the staff and crew?

Tipping is a matter of personal choice and is not obligatory on any Siren Fleet yacht. However if you feel our crew have made your holiday extra special then a gratuity is always appreciated and is shared equally amongst the on board crew. An envelope will be provided at the end of your cruise should you wish to show your appreciation. We regret we are unable to accept gratuities by credit card.

12. Is anti-malarial medication necessary for trips aboard the Philippine Siren?

No. Whilst malaria may be an issue when travelling inland or to remote islands, guests joining the Philippine Siren will not be within malarial zones. We recommend guests exercise caution and wear long clothing to minimise mosquito bites whilst in transit to the Philippine Siren.
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