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The Philippines - 14 days

Starting in Manila, cruise through this Southeast Asian island chain in luxury

The Philippines is a tropical archipelago of over 7,000 islands.  In this region of Southeast Asia, the local language is Tagalog but English is widely spoken and the Philippine people (over 90 million) are well-known for their cheerful disposition.

Day 1

The international and domestic air travel hub of Manila is like every capital city; lively, busy and bursting with life!  

If you’re starting your charter in Manila, it is worth taking a day in the city to visit the 16th century intramuros, founded by the Spanish, and the city’s colourful 400-year old Chinatown.

For shoe lovers, the Marikina Shoe Museum showcases - amongst others - 749 pairs of shoes of former First Lady Imelda Marcos.  The Makati district has many upmarket bars, restaurants and music clubs, for an entertaining night out on the town.

Alternatively, begin your itinerary in Subic Bay, which is a much quieter and cleaner port of embarkation and about a two-hour journey from Manila airport.

From Manila, cruise past historic Corregidor. There are still remnants of fortifications of World War II on the island, which now serve as military memorials to American, Filipino and Japanese soldiers.

Anchor in one of the Hamilo Coast coves for a refreshing swim and a relaxing evening on board.

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Day 2

It’s no wonder that the Spanish loved staying here; Puerto Galera has a splendid natural harbour.  Anchor in the bay, visit the yacht club and hire a local “jeepney” taxi for a ride overland to tumbling waterfalls and magnificent mountain views. 

There is excellent snorkelling and scuba diving with extensive coral gardens to be explored. 

Relax on board, forget about the rest of the world and enjoy time with your family.

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The Philippines - 14 days - PUERTO GALERA TO APO REEF - Luxury Charter Itinerary | C&N
Day 3

Apo Reef comprises three islands and is a UNESCO Heritage site.  It is rated as one of the top four scuba diving sites in the world, and boasts the second largest coral system on the planet. There is much to discover underwater and perfect diving conditions come guaranteed. The rich marine life includes cuttlefish, barracuda, turtles, sea snakes and manta rays,  with a visibility of around 100 feet.

Spend the day exploring different parts of the huge ( reef and admire the coral gardens.  

Those not snorkelling or scuba diving, should head for Apo Island, where they can take a tour of the mangrove forest and visit the lighthouse.

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The Philippines - 14 days - APO REEF TO DUMUNPALIT ISLAND - Luxury Charter Itinerary | C&N
Day 4

Dumunpalit is a beautiful island with a long, white-sand beach, green vegetation and huge limestone rock formations. The coral reefs surrounding the island are great for snorkelling with very pretty red, blue and pink colours.

Anchor at Puerta del Sol and go white-sand island hopping, there are many islands just minutes away.  There’s also a resort at Puerto del Sol with a beach front restaurant.

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Day 5 and 6

North Cay and South Cay are perfect for those who are adventurous, like to explore and love nature. There is a small access fee, which goes towards preservation and care of the island and those who look after it. You may well find that you’re the only ones there! It is friendly, laid-back and never busy. You can swim and snorkel, trek around the small island and come evening, settle in for a wood fire cook-out on the beach.

West Nalaut Island has over two miles of coastline, half of which is white sandy beach and half has rocky outcrops and cliffs. Crystal clear water and a 1000-foot-wide coral reef, surround the island. It is a natural breeding ground for turtles and dugongs. There are several Japanese World War II wrecks nearby, good deep sea fishing for blue marlin, tuna and lobster and, if you are lucky, the opportunity to see whale sharks, dolphins, dugongs and fruit bats.

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Day 7

Banana island has perfect white-sand beaches and amazing snorkelling on offer. It can be a little busier with travellers and day tourists but the island has a friendly atmosphere with hammocks near the shore, laid-back beach bars and the locals are usually playing soccer or volleyball on the beach.

If you want to retain your serene exclusivity, head for Ditaytayan island and step onto its beautiful sandbar. This incredible long stretch of pristine white sand is surrounded by turquoise water and ideal for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.

Malcapuya island has very clean, clear water and milk white powder-like sand. The coral reef is quite far from the shore and there are no rocks beneath so it is an ideal destination for swimming or lounging in the afternoon sun. The Chef will prepare picnic lunches to be taken ashore, or can setup a beach BBQ.

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Day 6

Go for an early morning visit to the seven, mixed-water Kayangan Lakes.  A zip-wire will speed those who are brave enough over the treetops, and for those seeking something more relaxing, there’s a salt water thermal spa.

Other attractions here include the Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary, and Tabon’s underground cave system.

In the many coves of Coron island you’ll see colourful local outriggers, called Bancas, curious crustaceans and other unusual marine life here.

Explore the area by jetski, quad bike, paraglide or jeep.  A hike to Mt. Tapyas will also deliver an incredible view of Coron town, where there are a few local eateries and a small market with handcrafted items.

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Day 9, 10 adn 11

El Nido is an ideal base for exploring Palawan, it is set in a bay surrounded by towering limestone cliffside. Though the town is charming, the main attraction is the Bacuit archipelago, a group of islands with steep karst cliffs. There are lagoons aplenty: small, big and several hidden ones, there are quiet beaches and secret coves with the most amazingly clear water. The area has many scuba diving sites, including Dilumacad Island’s long tunnel which leads to an underwater cavern.

There is so much to explore here, including an abandoned monastery (Matinloc Shrine). Climb the rock path beside the shrine and be rewarded with amazing views overlooking the sea.

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The Philippines - 14 days - SIBAY AND CALUYA ISLANDS - Luxury Charter Itinerary | C&N
Day 12 and 13

Sibay Island has enough underwater sites for a full day’s scuba dive safari. Landlubbers can take a jeepney ride over the island and get a taste of traditional island living.  

Caluya is quite far from any larger conurbations and hasn’t been so developed for tourism but, for many visitors, that’s part of the charm!

When anchored off these islands, you are likely to meet local fishermen who come by to sell and barter their latest catch - swap a couple of beers, some rice or cooking oil for some fresh fish and see what the Chef can conjure up!

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The Philippines - 14 days - BORACAY TO MANILA - Luxury Charter Itinerary | C&N
Day 14

Though a tiny island, Boracay is the Philippines' top tourist draw and, for many years, it has won ‘The World’s Best Beach’ award.  The effects of tourism are visible, but it does not detract from its beauty.  The popular White Beach is a 4km stretch of sand, lined with hotels, restaurants, bars and dive shops. The ocean is full of local, romantic paraws (an outrigger sailboat) drifting on the sea awaiting their tourist guests, and colourful parasails fill the air. Sunsets in Boracay are sensational, the stunning combinations of yellow, orange and purple are not to be missed. After a perfect sunset, it’s party time all night long, which can be great fun, or return to Manila for onward travel.

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