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While some batteries may be available to purchase on board, please bring extras if your personal dive equipment may require a unique size. Because of the remote locations in which our vessels operate, there is limited or no access to battery recycling facilities. To help us with responsible tourism we kindly request you bring home your own spent batteries to be recycled or disposed of properly. Alternatively, consider using rechargeable batteries as there are plenty of sockets to plug in a charger on board.
Currently there are re-compression facilities in Batangas, Manila, Cebu and Subic.
Generally private emergency air evacuation is needed to access these facilities in the unlikely event of an accident. We strongly urge that all guests dive well within recognised limits, follow Dive Guides advice and purchase adaquete dive insurance before their trips.
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, please visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
The U.S. Department of State website, www.travel.state.gov/content/travel.html also has essential travel advice and tips for North Americans.
We recommend that guests bring along any overnight essentials in their hand luggage. This ensures that in case of any unexpected luggage delays, guests will at least have the essentials on hand making any delay far more bearable.
Generally, you will need a visa to enter the Philippines. However, the Philippines operates a visa exemption scheme for several countries. To find out if you need a visa to enter the Philippines, please visit the Philippines consulate website at: www.philippineconsulatela.org/consular-services-2/visa/dont-know-if-you-need-a-visa-to-travel-check-here
Yellow fever certificate requirements – check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Health Network and Centre’s HealthTravelPro website.
Proof of onward travel
Entry into the Philippines may be refused if you are unable to produce evidence of return or onward travel – for example an onward or return air ticket.
Please make sure that your passport is valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into the Philippines.
Visa and passport regulations differ per country; therefore, we do advise our guests to check for any updates or changes of visa procedures with their nearest Philippines embassy/consulate.
Please visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/philippines/entry-requirements for the most up to date advice.
- Passengers who have transited through or have been in China (People’s Rep.), Hong Kong (SAR China) or Macao (SAR China) in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter the Philippines.
- Passengers who have transited through or have been in the North Gyeongsang Province (including Daegu and Cheongdo Country) of Korea (Rep.) in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter the Philippines.
- Passengers who have transited through or have been in Iran or Italy in the past 14 days are required to present a Medical Clearance or Health Declaration Certificate, issued by Health Authority within 48 hours prior to arrival and certifying that the passenger is free from Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Passengers under the following visa categories are not allowed to enter the Philippines:
– Passengers under Visa Waiver Agreements.
– Passengers with Special Visas
– Passengers with a Hong Kong (SAR China) passport, Macao (SAR China) passport, Macao-Portuguese, and British National Overseas passports.
– Immigrant and non-Immigrant visa holders
Domestic flights into and out of Manila and Puerto Princesa have been suspended.
Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park will be closed from 15th March – 14th April 2020 due to Coronavirus pandemic.
Please do let us know if you will be affected by this and bear these restrictions in mind when making your travel arrangements.
We are following all governmental advice & guidelines from each destination we operate in. As always, our crew will be respecting good hygiene and we are following recommendations from the WHO on prevention of transmission. The full link can be found here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
Measures taken will also be included in your initial briefing onboard. We also encourage guests to frequently clean and disinfect regulator mouthpieces and masks and to avoid sharing of these unless there is an emergency.
Please be aware that guests are NOT permitted to use strobes and/or flash when using their cameras at dive sites in Oslob (diving with whale sharks) and Monad Shoal (diving with thresher sharks).
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have had the required vaccines for the countries you are visiting. Please contact your health adviser or pharmacy, at least 8 weeks prior to departure, for advice if you are unsure which vaccinations you require. We are unable to give specific advice on vaccines or other medical precautions as this information should be provided by a medical professional. Further travel health advice can be found at:
Take appropriate precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitos and other insects, see www.travelhealthpro.org.uk/factsheet/38/insect-and-tick-bite-avoidance.
If you have a severe allergy, please inform us before you travel.
Please be aware that the transfer included in the price of your holiday (for Tubbataha itineraries) will get you to the vessel by 1.00pm. If you anticipate an arrival later than 1.00pm, please ask our travel team for a price of this extra transfer.
No children under the age of 16 (unless full charter) and 16 – 18 year olds must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Dress code on board is very casual and most guests feel comfortable in little more than swim wear, shorts and t-shirts. However, guests are asked to put a t-shirt over the swimwear while seated at the dining area. A sweater is advised for cooler nights, particularly after multiple dives. Guests prefer bare feet on board the yacht; however island visits will require sturdy sandals or cross-trainers.
All special food requirements whether allergy or simply personal preference can be catered for. Please inform us prior to arrival to ensure there are plenty of dishes to suit your needs.
The following equipment is for rental at an extra charge of €5 per day.
– Underwater torch
– Dive computer*
* Please note that the use of a dive computer is compulsory.
The following equipment is available free of charge:
– 12Ltr cylinders (15Ltr cylinder by special request, depending on availability)
– Weight belt and weights
– BCD – not weight-integrated
– Regulator – complete with alternate air source and depth/pressure gauge
– Wetsuits – 3mm shorty only
– Fins – full foot or open heel and boots
For each dives a guide is offered to enhance your enjoyment. Dive guides can often point out the small critter subjects that you might otherwise miss and guided groups are organised dependent on experience and diver needs. The Cruise Directors provides a detailed briefing before every dive allowing those with more experience the option to plan your dive with your buddy and dive independently from the guides. Tenders remain out on standby keeping watch until the last divers have returned.
On board the yacht we have both 220V and 110V with 2 round pin sockets. (European style) Please make sure you bring universal adapter with you if necessary. Electrical current on land is 220 Volts with the US-style flat 2-pin sockets.
The S/Y Philippine Siren is equipped with a thorough first aid kit and emergency oxygen.
Port and marine park fees vary. Please visit the S/Y Philippine Siren boat page for more information.
Any extra costs you may have onboard must be settled with our Cruise Director at the end of your cruise. Currencies accepted are; GBP, EUR, USD and the Philippine Pesos. For credit card payments there is a 3% charge. Trips often finish in remote locations, so it is best to bring extra cash in case there is no ATM or other method of withdrawing or exchanging money. In addition to park and port fees, guests are advised to bring €200-€300, for any extras such as massages, alcohol, laundry, courses, torch or computer rental.
Tipping is a matter of personal choice. You may wish to leave a tip if you feel the crew has made your holiday extra special. Tips are divided equally amongst all the crew including dive guides.
– Most foreign nationals do not need to obtain a visa before entering the Philippines for stays up to 21days. Please go to the following link for more information: http://dfa.gov.ph/main/index.php/consularservices/visa
– Passport valid for 6 months beyond the contemplated period of stay in the Philippines
– Ticket departing from the Philippines within 21 days of arrival
– Approx. 200 PHP in cash for domestic departure airport tax
– Approx 800 PHP in cash for international departure airport taxes
– Overweight baggage fees. Varies from 100 – 1500 PHP per kilo depending on route and airline. Please check with the airline or your travel agent
– Marine park & Port fees (the currencies accepted on the boat are EUR,GBP, USD & PHP)
– Approx. 200-300EUR spending money on the boat and tips.Visa and Master Cards are accepted but 3% surcharge applies
– All toiletries/medications
– Insect repellent
– Light coloured/light weight top for bright afternoons or breezy evenings
– 5mm long wetsuit if you feel the cold easily. Our rental suit is 3mm shorties only. Predicted Average Water Temperatures in the Philippines: 26-28C / 79-82F
– Dive certification card
– Proof of diving insurance which covers emergency evacuation and recompression chamber costs
– Travel insurance is a vital aspect to booking a holiday, giving you protection against unforeseen circumstances that could otherwise spoil your holiday. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that properly covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking.
S/Y Philippine Siren offers special features for underwater photographers and videographers including:
– Each cabin is fitted with an individual computer and multiple power sources for editing and charging needs. The computer features a 20″ high definition flat screen which is integrated with the yacht’s network server in the saloon.
– Work stations for the preparation and maintenance of cameras including prep and storage areas.
– Large rinsing tanks with fresh water changed frequently.
As of 1st September 2017, a new memorandum has been put in place by the authorities in the Philippines, who operate the permits on Balicasag Island. This area forms a small part of the Southern Visayas and Tubbataha and More itineraries. In order to comply, we must provide a copy of dive certificates/license for every diver booking onto this itinerary. Please ensure that you send a scanned copy of your certification to email@example.com once you have confirmed a booking. Without a scanned copy of guests’ certifications, there is a strong risk that the authorities will not issue the permit. This would result in the whole boat being refused dive permissions for Balicasag Island.
Water temperatures are broadly similar throughout the region; the coolest waters are usually to be found in January – March with an average of approximately 24 C – 26 C. Warmer waters are common in May – July with averages of approximately 26 °C – 28 °C. Most guests find that a 3mm shorty and possibly a rash vest is suitable for the water temperature in the warmer months, and 3mm – 5mm long for the rest of the year. However, for guests who feel the cold easily, especially with repeated diving, then we recommend to bring an extra vest / hood. In short bring what you feel most comfortable in.
Meals on board range from mild local dishes to Western cuisine. There is a variety of fresh fruit available at all times and all dishes are served with the freshest vegetables and highest quality seafood and meats available. There is always a range of dishes served at each meal time to ensure that all guests are satisfied and full! Guests may help themselves throughout the day and night to a variety of soft drinks, purified water, juices, teas and fresh brewed coffee. Rehydration/ mineral salts are available free of charge and recommended to all divers.
Passengers travelling within the Philippines are required to pay airport terminal fees. These can be from 20PHP – 200PHP for domestic flights and 750PHP for outbound international flights. Please ensure that you retain enough cash to pay these fees upon departure.
The Philippines is a tropical country and the weather is fairly even all year round. The year is roughly divided into two seasons; ‘rainy’ and ‘dry’. The rainy season generally begins in early June and can extend through to November. In general the months with greatest rainfall tend to be July and August. The rainy season often brings days of uninterrupted sunshine punctuated by occasional thunderstorms and rain. The dry season runs from November through to May but there is always the chance of light rainfall during this period. The warmest months are usually March through to May and the highest humidity is in June, July and August. Year round coastal and inland temperatures range from 27°C – 28°C, up to 33°C – 34°C, with an average of approximately 31 °C. Evenings are marginally cooler.
The local currency is the Philippine Peso (Php). The vast majority of all hotels, resorts, shops and restaurants will accept a wide range of credit and debit cards. Please note that in some cases away from the major cities you may be asked to pay a service charge for credit card handling. This can range from 3.5 – 6.0%. ATM’s are easily found throughout the Philippines in airports and in any major centre of population (Manila, Cebu, Dumaguete, Puerto Princesa, Boracay etc). Normal banking hours are 09.00am – 15.00pm. Traveller’s cheques are not very popular as they are not very easy to exchange so most guests prefer to carry cash and / or use credit cards. There are also money changers at airports and in the cities.
Approximate flight duration time from London, UK to Malia, Philippines is 15 hours.
Current studies show that you should wait at least 24 hours after multiple repetitive dives before you fly. Please have this in mind before you book your onwards international or domestic flights
Health standards vary throughout the country depending on location. In some cases they do not meet Western Standards but in some cases they exceed them. Manila and Cebu have international class hospitals whilst the hospitals in other parts of the country will ensure that you receive more than adequate care. All major towns have hospitals and doctors available. However, it is advisable to obtain Travel Insurance in addition to Health Insurance before you travel. We advise all guests to ensure that vaccinations are up to date. We recommend that travelers follow normal precautions with food in order to prevent stomach upsets, and be sure to drink either boiled or bottled water only. Please consult your doctor or nearest health authorities for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure.
Travel insurance is a vital aspect to booking a holiday, giving you protection against unforeseen circumstances that could otherwise spoil your holiday. It is mandatory that you purchase travel insurance that properly covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking.
There are over 170 different languages and dialects spoken in the Philippines, however, Tagalog (aka Filipino) is the most widely spoken language in the archipelago. Nearly all Filipinos who work in the tourism industry speak good English, and English road and street signs are found nationwide. Almost 90% of the population is Christian. The largest religious minority is Muslim, and they make up about 5% of the population.
The Philippines has excellent mobile phone coverage and telephone system, however, in less populated areas; you may find that there is no mobile coverage. The country code is +63 or 0063. To call the UK from the Philippines, dial +44 or 0044 and remove the first 0 from the area code of the number you are calling.
The local time is 8 hours ahead of UTC (GMT).
All travellers must be in possession of a passport that is valid at least for six months from the date of departure. Most foreign nationals do not need to obtain a visa before entering the Philippines for stays up to 21days and it is possible to extend your stay beyond this by visiting an Immigration Office while in the country and obtaining a visa extension. Visa and Passport regulations are in a constant state of flux and we always advise guests to check for updates and changes at your local Filipino Embassy. You will be required to show a confirmed onward ticket out of the Philippines (within the maximum number of days you are allowed to stay in the country) upon arrival.
For Tubbataha itineraries, gloves, reef hooks, tank bangers or pointers are not allowed.
The use of gloves and other implements such as pointers, tank bangers and reef hooks can modify the behaviour of sea life and animals, or harm corals, therefore these items are strictly prohibited for use in Tubbataha Marine Park.
Plastic Bottle Free
Tubbataha Marine Park Authorities are now requesting guests to bring their own reusable drinks containers, as part of their ‘Let’s make Tubbataha plastic bottle free’ campaign. Alternatively, you can purchase an Eco Tumbler onboard.