PAL's Mabuhay Maritime to offer Kalibo-Boracay ferry service
BATANGAS, Philippines – Tourists coming from Kalibo in Aklan province will soon have a more comfortable option to travel straight to the world-famous island of Boracay.
Mabuhay Maritime Express (MME), a subsidiary of flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), is launching a Kalibo-Boracay ferry service with travel time of only an hour and a half, down from the usual two and a half hours by shuttle and boat.
The ferry service was introduced to the media on Tuesday, October 23, just a few days before Boracay is scheduled to be reopened to the public on Friday, October 26. (READ: What to expect when Boracay reopens on October 26)
Set to be operational later this year, the ferry service seeks to complement existing PAL flights – especially international flights – to the Kalibo International Airport.
PAL has yet to announce a specific date for the start of operations.
"We aim to offer travelers a seamless air to sea transfer, taking passengers to their favorite tourist destinations as fast and as comfortable as possible," said MME president Jaime Bautista on Tuesday.
The Lucio Tan group built the private MME Jetty Port, only less than 10 minutes away from the Kalibo International Airport. Two 410-seater vessels will ferry passengers to Cagban Jetty Port in Boracay.
The catamaran vessels were designed by Netherlands-based BV Scheepswerf Damen Gorinchem and made by Damen Shipyards in Singapore.
The vessels have 3 seating sections – first class, premium class, and regular class. First class and premium class have reclining seats, while regular class lets passengers choose group seating arrangements.
There are also several wall outlets for passengers to use, while first class seats have a special USB port charging feature.
First class seats come with USB ports on the side of the chair. There are some wall outlets too. pic.twitter.com/vka2v7d10i— Aika Rey (@reyaika) October 23, 2018
Aside from the modern facilities, PAL said quality service can also be expected from attendants.
But the ferry service does not come cheap. Round-trip fares cost as much as P2,500 for first class, P2,000 for premium class, and P1,500 for regular class seats.
The fares are still subject to value-added tax and other government fees.
President Rodrigo Duterte had ordered the 6-month closure of Boracay, calling the popular tourist destination a "cesspool" because of its environmental problems.
During the shutdown, the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force reviewed the compliance of establishments with laws and policies. – Rappler.com