Exploring the Philippines Cruise

Adventure Life
The unique landscape of the Chocolate Hills
Adventure Life
A lone fisherman off the coast of the Philippines
Children of the Philippines
Marvel at nature as you sail the ovlcanic nation of the Philippines
A fish hides in the reef
One of the Caledonian Sky's lounges
Enjoy fine dining on the Caledonian Sky
Immerse yourself in the beautiful islands of the Philippines archipelago on this 19-day South Pacific cruise. This expedition offers a captivating mix of eastern and western cultures, and features exceptional snorkeling and diving. The lush, tropical forests are filled with a variety of endemic flora and fauna, and the shores are fringed with colorful coral reefs and extensive limestone caves. A special highlight is the opportunity to interact with native cultures whose customs are reflected in their intricate tribal dress, colorful dances, and rich folklore.

Day 1

  • Dinner

Sandakan, Malaysia

Arrive in Sandakan in the afternoon and check in to the Four Points Sheraton. Gather at the hotel in the evening for a welcome reception and dinner.

Day 2

Sandakan / Embark Caledonian Sky

In the morning, drive to a lowland rainforest, home of the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center. Observe the young orangutans, many of them orphans, who have been rehabilitated and taught to live in the wild. Embark on the Caledonian Sky in the afternoon and settle in to your cabin as the ship sets sail.

Day 3

Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines

Arrive in Puerto Princesa in the afternoon and embark on a tour of the city and its environs. Learn about the local culture at the Palawan Heritage Museum and watch a weaving demonstration at Binuatan Creations. Visit the Butterfly and Botanical gardens, and end your tour at the lively market.

Day 4

El Nido

The 45 islands and surrounding waters of El Nido present an array of natural wonders—numerous lagoons, hidden caves, dramatic limestone cliffs, inviting white-sand beaches, and healthy reefs teeming with fish. Explore the area by Zodiac, snorkel, dive, relax on the beach, or take a stroll with naturalists to search for resident birds and wildlife.

Day 5

St. Paul's National Park

One of the recently selected New 7 Wonders of Nature, St. Paul’s Underground River is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a cruise through huge caverns and past stunning rock formations while you learn about the rich biodiversity of this unique “mountain-to-sea” ecosystem.

Day 6

Coron Island

Choose from a variety of tour options to explore the natural and cultural wonders of Coron, including an active hike up Coron’s vertical cliffs, which is rewarded with breathtaking views of Kayangan Lake; or visit the Banuang Daan who will showcase their rich traditions with a performance and display of handicrafts. Spend the afternoon snorkeling, diving, or relaxing on sandy Banol Beach.

Day 7

Sibuyan Island

In the morning, go ashore and attend a traditional Pag-alad performance. Then board Jeepneys, the colorful symbols of Philippine culture, for a scenic drive to the Cantingas River’s hydro plant, a major source of the island’s clean energy. Watch the process of harvesting and milling rice, using the traditional bayo method. Continue to Dagubdob Falls, a series of cascades surrounded by dense tropical forest. After a lunch of local delicacies, walk with naturalists to search for flora and fauna, or take a swim in the refreshing freshwater pool.

Day 8

Donsol / Legazpi

Donsol Bay is one of the best places in the world to see and swim with whale sharks. Board local boats in the morning to search for and swim with these gentle creatures. Alternatively, enjoy a city tour of Legazpi. After lunch onboard, travel overland to the ruins of the 18th-century Cagsawa Church, backdropped by the stunning Mayon Volcano. Or, choose an active hike along the slopes of Mayon to search for birds and wildlife.

Day 9

Ticao Island

Spend the morning snorkeling and diving at tiny San Miguel Island. In the afternoon, take a scenic Zodiac cruise along the coast of Ticao to the base of Catandayagan Falls—a supremely photogenic waterfall that cascades over sheer limestone cliffs directly into the sea—then step ashore in a tiny fishing village to visit with locals.

Day 10

Capul Island

The people of Capul possess a rich cultural heritage including a language unique to this small island. After a short walk to the 17th-century fortress, enjoy a performance of dance and songs set to folk music. A stroll past the 18th-century church takes you to a coconut farm. The main industry of the locals, learn how coconut is processed. Sample traditional dishes and fresh local produce. Afterward head to the nearby sandy beach to swim, snorkel, or simply relax.

Day 11

Pamilacan Island

Be on deck early to keep watch for the dolphins often seen cruising these waters. Take a stroll through a small fishing village, making stops at the school and the 200-year-old Spanish Fortress. Spend the afternoon snorkeling or diving.

Day 12

Bohol / Balicasag

Rise early in the morning and take a scenic drive through the countryside, past emerald rice paddies and forested hillsides. Arrive at the Chocolate Hills, a unique landscape of almost perfectly conical hills, and ascend to the viewing platform for commanding views. Spend the afternoon snorkeling or diving at Balicasag, a Marine Protected Area.

Day 13

Cagayan de Oro

Venture into the highlands of Bukidnon and take a hike through lush rain forest to a lovely waterfall. Several ethnic groups inhabit these hills and you will meet people from the Higaonon and Talaandig tribes who will share their culture and perform traditional dances. Birders visit the Mapawa Nature Reserve to search for Philippine serpent eagles, Philippine hanging parrots, and yellow-wattled bulbuls. After lunch, visit the Del Monte Pineapple Plantation. Or, spend the day on an exhilarating white water rafting excursion.

Day 14

Camiguin Island

Venture into the foothills of Mt. Hibok-Hibok, an active volcano, then make a stop at the 245-foot-high Katibawasan Falls and take a dip in the refreshing pool. After visiting a village and local market, enjoy a feast of traditional dishes, fresh seafood, and lechon, a whole roasted pig.

Day 15

Sogod Bay / Limasawa Island

Board local boats for your second opportunity to swim with whale sharks, and visit the beautiful Limasawa Island in the afternoon.

Day 16

Bucas Grande Island / Lajanosa Island

An amazing experience awaits as Zodiacs take you through a maze of rocky islets in Sohoton National Marine Park to arrive at a lagoon filled with thousands of stingless jellyfish. Take a swim or simply observe the softly pulsating orange and white jellyfish as they glide through the turquoise waters. In the afternoon, snorkel or dive off Lajanosa Island.

Day 17

At Sea

Relax on board as you sail.

Day 18

Davao City / Disembark / Manila

Disembark the ship in the morning and enjoy a morning tour of the Davao Pearl Farm or a city tour, including the ethnographic museum and cultural village. After lunch at a local restaurant, transfer to the airport for an early afternoon flight to Manila. Upon arrival, check in to the Marriott Hotel Manila for dinner and overnight.

Day 19

  • Breakfast

Depart Manila

Independently travel to the airport for your continued journeys home.