Dive Southern Visayas, departing Mactan or Moalboal
Year round – 6 to 10 nights
The Visayas region is home to some of the best diving in the Philippines, with its nutrient rich water supporting a variety of eco-systems & a wide diversity of marine life. Sites range from steep coral covered walls to gentle sloping reefs and muck diving hotspots. During the tour we visit and dive the islands of Cebu, Cabilao, Panglao, Balicasag and Pescador. Along with Apo Island marine sanctuary and critter hot spot Dauin.
The 40 metre S/Y Philippine Siren luxury diving liveaboard was designed and built using the lessons learnt from our first yacht the S/Y Siren and has been modified to better suit the growing needs of our guests. The 8 cabins are all situated forward of the engine room with 2 fixed double bed cabins located at the bow and 6 twin bed cabins throughout the remaining lower deck quarters, however we offer flexibility with 2 cabins which can be converted from twin to double should guests require (cabins 5 & 6).
The outdoor dining area offers a superb setting for all your meals, with comfortable bench seating set in a semi-circular shape. The dive deck is likely one of the most spacious you will have come across, excepting other Siren Fleet yachts!
We have improved facilities for underwater photographers and videographers, providing both indoor and outdoor designated areas for charging and preparation of your camera and video equipment. Large rinse tanks on the dive deck and a well trained crew!
Built on the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi, she is a traditional “gaft rigged Phinisi” handcrafted from ironwood and teak. Built by divers for divers the S/Y Philippine Siren is a modern and spacious diving liveaboard.
Aboard the S/Y Philippine Siren we welcome 16 guests on each trip to ensure abundant space for all divers.
Features of the S/Y Philippine Siren liveaboard include:
◾8 large air-conditioned cabins each with their own personal audio-visual entertainment system and ensuite bathrooms with hot water through our centrally ehated system. Overbed reading lights and individual controls for your air-conditioning unit are provided for your convenience, as well as several cupboards for clothing and personal items, an in-cupboard safety box and a hairdryer. Each guest is provided with 1 bath & 1 hand towel and a cotton bathrobe for use in the cabin
◾Expansive shaded diving deck area, with individual stations and personal storage drawers. Guests are provided with a 12l aluminim tank, weights & belt. Basic Aqua Lung scuba equipment rental (BCD, Regulator, 3mm wetsuit, mask & fins) and SMB (safety sausage) are provided FREE of charge. Sizing requests can be submitted via the online application form when confirming your booking. For your convenience each guest is provided with a numbered deck towel and more towels are available upon request
◾Spacious air-conditioned lounge with cocktail bar, sofas, 42 inch flatscreen & movie network and library of books & games
◾Covered outdoor dining and refreshment area. All meals are served buffet style and guest may help themselves throughout the day to all soft drinks & snacks that are available
◾Un-shaded Sun Deck with 8 cushioned loungers
◾Enriched Air Nitrox is FREE for all certified Nitrox divers. If you are not a certified Nitrox diver all our instructors can certainly teach you the Enriched Air Diver Specialty during your liveaboard trip
◾2 high-powered Ridged-Hulled Inflatable Boats accompany the S/Y Philippine Siren
◾Laundry Service – our housekeeper will launder your clothes and return to you the same day (0.50 euro per item)
◾Massage Service – available for 3 hours daily* for 25 Euro/ hour
◾Yacht Boutique, which includes a range of Siren Fleet clothing, reef hooks and nudi-pointers
◾Kayaks, for guest use FREE of charge
* Excepting arrival and departure days
Visayas Dive Site Highlights
Lighthouse- Cabilao Island. A sloping reef wall is adorned with huge elephant ear sponges, in which we find giant frogfish attempting to camouflage themselves. Green and hawksbill turtles are common visitors and it is often we can see schools of surgeon fish and big-mouth mackerel. Drift along the wall and as you ascend towards the shallows a sandy plateau dotted with gorgonian fans is the place the stop and look for pygmy seahorses. The dive ends at a stunning hard coral garden where pipefish, cowries, cuttlefish, commensal shrimps, nudibranchs, squat lobsters and orangutan crabs are amongst a few of the commonly seen critters. Occasionally some stronger currents can be experienced.
South Point, Cabilao Island offers you the opportunity to look for white tip reef sharks that hang out in the caverns within the steep coral wall. Huge tube sponges support giant frogfish, whilst leaf fish and many scorpion fish can be found resting in the crevices.
Cambiquiz, Cabilao Island is where octopus, crocodile fish and many crustaceans can be seen. A superb spot day or night.
Diver’s Heaven, Balicasag Island. Typically with stronger currents than most dives during the trip, Diver’s Heaven is a character site of Balicasag with a steep reef wall, many overhangs with soft corals, sponges & sea fans. Schools of jacks and chevron barracuda are frequently seen, along with pyramid butterfly fish and bannerfish. Warty frogfish, leaf fish and porcelain crabs are just a few of the smaller creatures that can be found at this dive site.
Black Forest, Balicasag Island – once famed for its black coral is where we encounter schools of jacks, meanwhile leaf fish are often seen resting on the rough coral ledges. Turtles are a common sight in the shallow sea grass garden- a perfect place for your safety stop.
Tongo Point, Moalboal offer yellow tail barracuda, shrimp fish hovering in schools, and schools of big mouth mackerel make for an interesting dive. Add crocodile fish, scorpion fish, sea snakes & turtles for an awesome dive site.
Pescador Island – Western Cebu. We dive here for the schools of sardines that occasionally bring with them hunting thresher sharks. The tiny off shore island is a haven for all manner of marine life. The walls, covered with sponges and soft corals hide frogfish, boxfish, batfish and many species of moral eel. Whale sharks have been known to put in an appearance in an attempt to steal the lime light!
“The Cars”/ “Dauin North” , Dauin. The dark sand slope leads down to two sunken volkswagens- covered with corals and sponges and home to schooling lionfish. The cars are just one feature of the site however, as over the slope we also find microscopic frogfish, skeleton shrimps, cockatoo waspfish, pipe horses, seahorses and mimic and blue-ring octopus, flying gurnards, spiny devilfish, robust and ornate ghost pipefish gathered together in groups (sometimes 5-7 at a one time!) and flambouyant cuttlefish. A true macro critter playground.
San Miguel, Dauin- another critter wonderland! Painted frogfish, varieties of ghost pipefish, cockatoo waspfish are just a few of the most commonly seen species and on occasion we see up to 4 flambouyant cuttlefish in one dive!! During night dives coconut octopus can be seen creeping about with their shells and bobtail squid quickly scurry under the sand.
Coconut Point, Apo Island An often fast paced drift brings divers over the sloping coral reef wall. Giant trevally, humphead parrotfish and marbled groupers are seen off the reef along with schools of banner fish. Turtles cruise effortlessly in the currents and nembrotha nudibranchs can be seen munching on tunicates.
Rock Point, Apo Island West Just beyond the chapel opposite the marine park warden’s office, Rock Point offers some of the most stunning hard corals to be found in the region. The steep reef walls support numerous colourful reef species – pyramid butterfly fish and red-toothed trigger fish are here in their hundreds, frogfish, cuttlefish, banded sea snakes and hawksbill turtles are amongst the common sightings.
The following sites will also be visited during our Malapascua extension:-
Monad Shoal, Malapascua Island is one of the few dive spots in the World where the shy pelagic thresher sharks may be seen on a daily basis. Divers rest at approximately 25m (90ft) on the sandy bottom to watch the sharks approach and be cleaned. Other visitors to the shoal include manta, devil and eagle rays. Diving with Nitrox is recommended to enjoy extended bottom time.
White Tip Alley, Gato Island as the name suggests provides an almost guaranteed sighting of white tip reef sharks that enjoy their rest on the sand tucked under rocks and coral bommies. Other species found here include scorpion fish and seahorses. Pygmy seahorses may also be found too as well as whip coral shrimps which cling to the colourful whip corals adorning the overhangs of the island.
Dona Marilyn, Malapascua Wrecks – Lying on her starboard side at a depth of 32m (110ft) this 100m (300ft) long passenger ferry is now a haven for marble and blue spotted stingrays and home to schools of sweetlips. Covered with corals and the remains of fishing nets she gives an eerie vibe to divers – not least because of the many people who lost their lives during her sinking more than 20 years ago. Guarding the wreckage is a resident giant moray eel and also commonly seen are large scorpion fish, lionfish and cuttlefish. Minimum depth 18m (60ft)
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Itinerary & Schedule
Visayas Liveaboard Diving Itinerary
Departing from Cebu the S/Y Philippine Siren cruises southwards to the first stop at Cabilao Island, where steep reef walls are covered with sea fans, corals and sponges. Pygmy seahorses and frogfish are common sightings. Moving on to Balicasag we dive a variety of sites around the tiny island to see turtles and schools of jacks as well as barracuda and snapper. The dark sand slopes of Dauin are the place to find a myriad of tiny odd shaped bottom dwellers from robust ghost pipefish to pipehorses, waspfish and skeleton shrimps.
philippines-diver coralApo Island is a testament to the success of the marine sanctuaries in the Philippines and the pristine corals abound with numerous fish species including redtooth trigger fish, pyramid butterfly fish and blue lined fusileers. Friendly turtles approach divers and at least 8 species of anemone fish can be found here. Moalboal and tiny Pescador Island are the next destination. Schools of sardines are known to pass through with the occasional hungry thresher shark in their wake. Whale sharks are frequently seen in the channel. Smaller creatures including a wide range of nudibranchs, shrimps and crabs can be found on each reef during every dive. The calm seas and diversity of marine life make the Visayas an ideal diving destination for all experience levels.