Discovery Palawan

Discovery Palawan

Discovery Palawan offers liveaboard dive trips to Tubbataha during the limited opening window of mid-March to mid-June each year. Tubbataha is considered the Mecca of Philippine diving and recognized as the only marine UNESCO WORLD heritage site in Asia. 

The park is under the strict protection of armed rangers all year round to preserve the beauty of this underwater world. As a result, visitors have the privilege of seeing the spectacular reefs and marine life like manta rays, turtles, schools of fish, and whale sharks.

Sponges bigger than you’ve seen anywhere else, giant sea fans, and beautiful soft corals make the walls look like underwater gardens. 

Exploring Shark Airport is one of the most exciting highlights of this cruise. This reef edge contains coral bommies and sandy patches where white tip sharks are usually found lying on the sand, resembling parked airplanes at an airport. Schools of snappers and surgeonfish can also be spotted in the reef top.

Tubbataha Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and only accessible by liveaboard three months out of the year. These pristine reefs, located 100 miles offshore in the Sula Sea, are protected by rangers year round and made up of North and South Atolls and Jessie Beazley Reef. Divers can experience wonderful visibility and some of the best diving the Philippines has to offer from March until June each year.

 

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is home to no less than 573 species of fish, 373 species of corals, 11 species of sharks, 12 species of dolphins and whales, nestling hawksbill and green sea turtles.

Daily dive schedule

 
Day 01 – Embark the Discovery Palawan in Puerto Princesa Port between 2 – 4pm
 
Day 02 – 4 dives in TRNP (Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park) (no night dive) South of North Atoll (Ranger Station, Amos Rock, Wall Street)
 
Day 03 – 4 dives in TRNP - South of South Atoll (no night dive) (Delsan Wreck, Southwest wall, Triggerfish City)
 
Day 04 – 4 dives in TRNP - North of South Atoll (no night dive) (Black Rock, T Wreck, Ko-ok)
 
Day 05 – 4 dives in TRNP - North of North Atoll (no night dive) (Shark Airport, Seafan Alley, Washing Machine)
 
Day 06 – 3 dives (no night dive) in TRNP (Malayan Wreck of North Atoll and Jessie Beazley)
 
Day 07 – Disembark the Discovery Palawan in Puerto Princesa Port after breakfast, 8am onwards
 

Comprised of several thousand islands and surrounded by nutrient-rich waters, it’s not a surprise that the Visayas region is home to the majority of the wonderful sites in the Philippines.

 

The best dive sites have been handpicked to come up with an exciting trip that features a wide variety of marine fauna including beautiful reefs, sea fan adorned walls, manta rays, thresher sharks, whale sharks, and amazing macro life.

 

Here are the highlights of the trip:

 

You will head out to the beautiful Kalanggaman for the first dive which will serve as a check out dive before exploring its captivating walls and reefs. You will have an opportunity to relax on the beach and enjoy the idyllic island vibe. After the second dive, the ship will go to Monad Shoal in Malapascua for a nice afternoon dive at the manta cleaning station. There will be two morning dives at Monad Shoal where you are likely to encounter thresher sharks then we’ll go to Gato Island for an afternoon and night dive.

 

Feel the adrenaline rush as we go through a 100 foot long tunnel that cuts through the small island at a depth of only 35 feet. You will need a torch to light up your way and be delighted as you witness the walls come alive with a variety of sponges, crustaceans, and vibrant Tubastrea coral which showcases its yellow beauty at night.

 

Outside the tunnel, you can spot bommies in lovely pastel shades of yellow and orange soft corals. Get a chance to feast your eyes on stunning nudibranchs including the Spanish dancer which resembles the swirl of a Flamenco dancer’s red skirt.

 

 
Daily Dive Schedule:
 
Day 01 –Embarkation in Cebu Yacht Club between 2 – 4pm
 
Day 02 –Kalanggaman (3 Dives)
 
Day 03 –Monad Shoal / Malapascua / Gato (3 Dives)
 
Day 04 –Pescador Island & Moal Boal  (3 Dives)
 
Day 05 – Oslob & Sumilon (3 Dives)
 
Day 06 – Cabilao Island (3 Dives)
 
Day 07 – Disembarkation in Cebu Yacht Club between 8 – 10am
 
 

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 takes us around Apo Reef, Calumbuyan Reef, and the stunning Siete Pecados. Trust us, the picturesque and panoramic views, never get old. You’ll want to add this to your bucket-list!

 

Daily Dive Schedule:

 
Day 01 – Embark at Bauan Port, Batangas starting at 11:30AM
 
Day 02 – Apo Reef Natural Park (3 dives) 
 
Day 03 – Culion & Calumbuyan (3 dives) 
 
Day 04 – Coron Bay, Kayangan Lake & Siete Pecados ( 3dives)
 
Day 05 – Disembarkation in Coron Port before lunch 11am 
 

Name: Discovery Palawan
Maximum number of guests: 16-32 divers
Number of crew: 20 – 32
Length overall: 161 Feet
Width overall: 28 feet
Draft: 10.5 Feet
Tonnage: 539 tons
Maximum cruising speed: 10 knots
Electricity: 220 V
Class Registry: Filipino Vessels Classification System Assn. Inc.
 
Diving
Tanks 80cu and 100cu, compressors
Tenders:
Nitrox: Available
Medical oxygen onboard
Complete rental equipment
Satellite Phone: Immarsat
 
Cabins: 20 
16 standard cabins (lower deck)
13 cabins with 2 Single Beds (Twin)
2 cabins with 1 Queen Bed
1 family cabin with 2 single beds + 1 elevated double bed (good for 2 adults & 2 kids)
4 upper deck cabins
2 cabins with 1 double bed
2 cabins with 2 single beds
All cabins with personal climate control.
Air conditioned salon / camera room, sundeck, 1 shaded dining deck

Where is the Tubbataha Reef Natural Park?
Tubbataha Reefs is located in the center of the Sulu Sea between the Island of Palawan and the Visayan islands. The jump off point is the city of Puerto Princesa, Palawan. This city is accessible by daily flights from Manila and flights from Cebu City every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
 
 
When is the best time to go to Tubbataha Reefs?
The best time to go to Tubbataha Reefs is during the Philippine Summer season from mid-March to mid-June.
Days are hot and dry and sea conditions are at their calmest and clearest.
 
 
What time does the boat leave on the day of departure/arrive day of arrival?
Embarkation is between 2 – 4 pm in Puerto Princesa Port. Arriving guests are picked up at the airport and transferred to the ship, assigned a dive crate and checked into their rooms.
They have the whole afternoon at leisure to take in the city attractions, go last minute shopping for toiletries.
A pre-departure briefing will be done during the evening of arrival when guests will be asked to fill out forms and sign waivers, be given boat assignments and informed of dive schedules as well as ship/park safety regulations and procedures.
On the day of arrival, the ship is usually in port by 6 am and guests are disembarked after breakfast . 8 am is the usual disembarkation time but guests who have later flights are free to remain on board until airport transfer time.
Puerto Princesa Airport/ship transfers are included in your package.
 
 
What is included in the Tubbataha Reefs Liveaboard Package?
Accommodations onboard, 4 dives per day (except on the last day in Tubbataha), tanks, weights, weight belt, boat, services of a dive professional, roundtrip transfers from Puerto Princesa airport to boat, all meals, and complimentary tea, coffee, juice.
 
 
When should I arrive in Puerto Princessa?
Guests can arrive anytime before 4 pm.
 
 
What are the taxes or fees not included in the package?
The taxes/fees that are not included in the package are the Tubbataha Reefs Conservation Fees which is USD105/person, airport terminal fees in Manila and Puerto Princesa, gear rentals, courses, soda/alcoholic drinks and souvenir items on board.
 
 
Who will meet me at the airport?
Upon arrival in the Puerto Princesa Airport please look for members of our Staff holding a Discovery Fleet banner.
 
 
What is the weather in the Philippines?
The Philippines is a tropical country with an average temperature of 32°C (80°F). March to June is hot and dry (36°C); rains and typhoons abound from July to October; November to February is pleasantly cool ( around 23°C) and dry. In mountainous regions, temperatures dip to about 15°C.
 
 
Are tender boats used?
Yes, all of our dives are conducted in small groups from tender boats ensuring quick entry and exit from the water.
 
 
Should I be an advanced diver?
Not necessarily. All dives begin with a back-roll onto the reef top which is usually around 15 meters. After everyone has trimmed their buoyancy and is comfortable, the dive leader will then bring the group to the drop off and down the wall. Current is usually present in Tubbataha and thus drift diving is the norm. Divers go with the flow of the current and a chase boat will be ready to pick them up when they surface.
 
 
Is there night diving?
No night diving.
 
 
When is check-out time on the vessel?
The check-out time in the vessel is 0800am on the last day.
 
 
What wetsuit should I use in diving?
The weather is quite warm during the trip because it is the summer season. A rash guard or 3mm suit is more than adequate.
 
 
Where is the nearest recompression chamber?
The nearest Recompression chamber is in Cebu City.

Discovery Palawan

popular Dives sites

Moalboal & Pescador

Pescador, a small and ellipse-shaped island nestled in the municipality of Moalboal, is noted for its fringing reefs, drop-off and a plethora of marine life.

Upon reaching 4 to 10 meters, witness the grandeur of a sloping reef covered with both hard and soft corals. The drop off and walls overgrown with sponge reaches down to about 55 meters and feature numerous cracks and crevices worth exploring. You’ll be delighted by the glorious sea fans and colorful soft corals that embellish the walls where sponges with camouflaged frogfish wait to ambush their prey.

We will move closer to the mainland, near the town of Moalboal in the afternoon so that you can experience the thrill of finning through the Philippines’ form of a sardine run.

 

Oslob

Oslob used to be a tranquil and poor coastal town in the province of Cebu but it quickly became famous from the regular visits of whale sharks, locally referred to as the “butanding”.

Once hunted for their meat, the whale shark has become Oslob’s tourism champion because their presence provides sustainable income for many families in the municipality.

Many tourists visit Oslob to experience the thrill of snorkeling or diving with the biggest fish in the sea. These gentle, majestic creatures allow the residents to have a steady income as guides, boatmen, and other work.

Not frequently visited by divers, Cabilao has maintained its pristine and untouched underwater realm. Here you’ll find corals that seem to be more prolific and healthier than other popular dive sites in the region of Visayas. Some of the rich marine life that you can encounter in these waters are pygmy seahorses attached on colorful sea fans and sea moths crawling on the sandy bottom.

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Bahamas Scuba Diving Vacations

Call us today at (800) 737-3483 to book your trip on Discovery Palawan. Or simply reserve your vacation online by clicking below.

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