Discovery Palawan

Discovery Palawan

Discovery Palawan offers 3 different liveaboard dive trips around the Philippines throughout the year. 

Originally constructed as a three-masted schooner in 1972 in Groningen, Holland, this sailing vessel traveled around the Caribbean and was later redesigned to serve as a navigation training ship. In 2006, she went through a refitting process and was given a new and more robust engine plus state-of-the-art navigational equipment. Then she was brought to the Philippines to fulfill the role of an adventure cruise ship. In 2013, the cruise ship was renamed Discovery Palawan and went through a $1.5 million renovation to give her a fresh and stylish look.

You can expect excellent service, and incredible diving while onboard Discovery Palawan, considered one of the top liveabords in the Philippines. 

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 1 – Embark the Discovery Palawan in Puerto Princesa Port between 2 – 4pm
 
Day 2 – 4 dives in TRNP (Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park) (no night dive) South of North Atoll (Ranger Station, Amos Rock, Wall Street)
 
Day 3 – 4 dives in TRNP - South of South Atoll (no night dive) (Delsan Wreck, Southwest wall, Triggerfish City)
 
Day 4 – 4 dives in TRNP - North of South Atoll (no night dive) (Black Rock, T Wreck, Ko-ok)
 
Day 5 – 4 dives in TRNP - North of North Atoll (no night dive) (Shark Airport, Seafan Alley, Washing Machine)
 
Day 6 – 3 dives (no night dive) in TRNP (Malayan Wreck of North Atoll and Jessie Beazley)
 
Day 7 – 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 you 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 1 –Embarkation in Cebu Yacht Club between 2 – 4pm
 
Day 2 –Kalanggaman (3 Dives)
 
Day 3 –Monad Shoal / Malapascua / Gato (3 Dives)
 
Day 4 –Pescador Island & Moal Boal  (3 Dives)
 
Day 5 – Oslob & Sumilon (3 Dives)
 
Day 6 – Cabilao Island (3 Dives)
 
Day 7 – 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 1 – Embark at Bauan Port, Batangas starting at 11:30AM
 
Day 2 – Apo Reef Natural Park (3 dives) 
 
Day 3 – Culion & Calumbuyan (3 dives) 
 
Day 4 – Coron Bay, Kayangan Lake & Siete Pecados ( 3dives)
 
Day 5 – Disembarkation in Coron Port before lunch 11am 
 

Name: Discovery Palawan
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
Maximum number of guests: 16-32 divers
Number of crew: 20 – 32

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 12 to 30 feet, 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 180 feet 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.

Tubbataha FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers
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.
 
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.
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.
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.
Guests can arrive anytime before 4 pm.
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.
Upon arrival in the Puerto Princesa Airport please look for members of our Staff holding a Discovery Fleet banner.
 
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.
Yes, all of our dives are conducted in small groups from tender boats ensuring quick entry and exit from the water.
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.
No night diving.
The check-out time in the vessel is 0800am on the last day.
The weather is quite warm during the trip because it is the summer season. A rash guard or 3mm suit is more than adequate.
The nearest Recompression chamber is in Cebu City.

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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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