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Ferries Batangas To Puerto Galera 

Puerto Galera Ferry

For almost as long as I can remember the ferries between Batangas Port and Puerto Galera were predominantly outrigger boats of various sizes. Outrigger boats would deliver passengers from Batangas Port to Muelle Pier & Sabang Beach, and to beach landings at White Beach, Aninuan, Talipanan and Coco Beach. In late 2018 the outrigger boats were banned, to be replaced with “fastcraft”, which are reportedly designed to be safer – they are certainly not faster.

In fact, outrigger boats used as passenger ferries had be banned by regulations for many years prior to 2018, but individual municipalities made exceptions. In 2018 however, MARINA (the government agency responsible to regulating all on-water craft), enforced the regulation.

In response, the two dominant Puerto Galera ferry companies – Father & Son Lines and Minolo Shipping Lines – both launched a single fastcraft to ply the route from Batangas to Muelle Pier, Puerto Galera. These two boats, having grossly insufficient capacity to handle the daily passenger numbers, were paralleled by increased numbers of roll-on-roll-off (Ro-Ro) vehicle (and passenger) ferries operated by other shipping companies (Atienza Interisland Ferries, Starlite Ferries and Montenegro Shipping Lines), delivering passengers to Balatero Port, Puerto Galera. Recognizing that the fastcraft and Ro-Ros were much slower than the original outrigger ferries, Atienza Interisland Ferries introduced a single, faster-craft on a premium fare basis in the form of the M/V September Tulips. This became the favored ferry to catch because it was faster and more comfortable.

Everyone could see that the traditional influx of tourists over the Easter/Holy Week period would stretch the ferries to the limit, so Minolo Shipping and Father & Son (now rebranded as RDI Genesis Shipping), both added an additional fastcraft. Unfortunately, only the two Minolo fastcraft was able to operate throughout the Hole Week because M/V Genesis I managed to smash into the pier at Batangas, on Thursday, 20th April, and was put out of commission for the remainder of the week, while repairs to her bow section were undertaken.

However, the absolute star of the Easter/Holy Week period was the faster-fastcraft M/V City of Iloilo of Montenegro Shipping Lines. With a travel time of only 55 minutes – 20 minutes faster than the fastest fastcraft from Minolo’s Raptor and 30 minutes faster than RDH Genesis boats – plus, easy boarding for passengers, with seats that are actually comfortable and designed for even the largest bums, this ferry will surely become the gold-standard for future ferry travel between Batangas and Puerto Galera.

Returning aboard the M/V City of Iloilo from Puerto Galera to Batangas on the Tuesday following Easter/Holy Week, I was compelled to also commend the lavatory facilities aboard. For more than two decades I have deliberately avoided traveling on Montenegro Shipping’s Ro-Ro ferries because the lavatories have always been absolutely disgusting. I can now report that the lavatories aboard the M/V City of Iloilo were among the cleanest I have ever used aboard in the Philippines. Whilst they will probably never meet the superior standards of the Starhorse Lines Ro-Ro (Lucena City to Marinduque Island) at least it demonstrates that suitably motivated Montenegro crews do have the capacity to keep their ferries clean.

It is my hope, and the hope of everyone who has had the pleasure to travel on the M/W City of Iloilo ferry, that Montenegro Shipping Lines will continue to allow this ferry to operate the route from Batangas to Puerto Galera and vice-versa, throughout the high and the low seasons, into the future. If you agree then please share this article with Montenegro Shipping Lines or tell them through their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/montenegroinc/

For all current ferry sailings to/From Puerto Galera via Batangas Port, visit this website page:

https://www.pgyc.org/ferry-sched.php

Please note that ferry schedules throughout the Philippines may be affected by either, weather or, changes in demand, so contacting the ferry companies in advance of travel is highly recommended.

 

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