The island of Boracay is your BGC with sand. Famed for its five-kilometer sensational white sand beach that turns into a party haven when the sun goes down, it is still the most preferred modern tropical getaway for locals and foreign tourists alike.
According to the latest data from the Department of Tourism, a total of 1.24 million tourists (50 percent of which are local revelers) have visited the island year to date. And while there are still many local travelers steering clear of expensive Boracay vacation because of costly airfare, traveling by ship can be an equally exciting option, not to mention a little less expensive.
Traveling by sea not only saves money, it also gives travels a unique experience, which can serve as either a preview or an extension of an island vacation. Think of a party boat because that is exactly what 2Go Travel wanted to introduce to its clients–a seamless travel experience, so to speak.
2GO Travel works with over 1,200 outlets nationwide, catering to various ports in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. With decades of experience in maritime industry, 2GO Travel is one of the largest, premier land/sea-travel providers in the country. It offers a wide selection of hotel accommodations, tours and events packages, with the ease of land/sea travel.
In our recent trip to Boracay, we personally experienced the service that 2GO Travel is famous for. It’s via the roll-on /roll-off (RORO) passenger ship MV St. Ignatius of Loyola, designed to carry at least a thousand passengers.
Upon boarding the vessel at Batangas City Port, we were greeted by 2GO’s amiable staff. They led us to our assigned rooms before giving us a quick tour of the vessel and its amenities.
MV St. Ignatius offers different types of accommodation based on the traveler’s budget. Our group stayed in the cabin rooms, each equipped with toilet and bath. The private air-conditioned room can accommodate four people. There are three other bunkers available in the passenger vessel: the well-appointed and fully furnished Stateroom; the Tourist class; and the Supervalue class. All bunkers are well maintained. The only difference among them is the level of privacy and exclusivity.
The passenger ship has a restaurant, café, convenience store where one can also buy food, drinks, bath products, over-the-counter medicines as well as souvenirs from 2GO Travel, a bar called Sea Breeze, which serves as the ship’s main entertainment hub, which allows passengers to watch live bands perform while having a drink at the vessel’s upper deck. All these, plus its comfortable accommodations make the nine-hour trip from Batangas to Caticlan seemed short.
2GO Travel is also very particular with security and safety. Since there’s no chance of overcapacity, the staff can ensure everyone’s welfare while aboard the ship. According to its captain, MV St. Ignatius is equipped with eight emergency lifeboats, a rescue boat and three vessel escorts. Its security details include bomb-sniffing dogs and some police representatives. He also shared that although the ship is sturdy and can withstand any kind of turbulence on the high seas, the RORO will not set sail if Storm Signal number 1 is raised by the national weather agency.
Compared to a road trip or flying, 2GO Travel offers a unique experience where travelers can enjoy the time it takes to get to their destination. There are no delays that will mess up a connecting flight or traffic that will add hours onto a road trip.
It’s good to note that half of the fun of the travel is the ship itself. It may appear humorous but one downside of this alternative way to travel to an island destination is the possibility of becoming seasick. But don’t fret. MV St. Ignatius of Loyola also has an in-house medical unit ready for any kinds of emergencies.