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Ultimate Island Hopping Experience (Islands Banca Cruise Davao)

Important note: This service has already been discontinued. I left it for those interested in similar tours which you can avail through Davao and Samal Tourism Offices for more information. Thanks.

Islands Banca Cruise Davao

Islands Banca Cruise Davao approaching Vanishing Islands

An Ultimate Island Hopping Experience (Islands Banca Cruise Davao)

Text and photos by Jojie Alcantara (published in SunStar Davao)

It used to be taxing to hire regular and old pumpboats that ply Davao to Samal waters in order to avail of a boat trip for a family or group which you can bring around for an island tour.

Me and buddies Lyn and Christy in Isla Cristina in the early 90s

Me and buddies Lyn and Christy in Isla Cristina, Talikud in the early 90s

In the early 90s, before the demise of a good friend Atty. Tim Te, I was part of his group and family who initiated customized tours in their resort Isla Cristina at the back of Talikud Island at a time when it was still unheard of and quite costly.  Because he had this huge double decked boat built called M/B Pacifica, we had the luxury of cruising around Talikud and exploring other private shorelines to our content. We cruised almost daily because it was a heavenly place to camp out where dolphins used to cavort around clear and enticing waters.

IMA Marinelife boat in Passig Islet, Sta. Cruz with National Geographic film crew

IMA Marinelife boat in Passig Islet, Sta. Cruz with National Geographic film crew, 1998

I was able to enjoy that kind of cruising around again in 1998 when I was involved with a marine environmental NGO whose boat we used to bring the National Geographic and BBC Crew around Davao Gulf and Palawan to document dive sites and community projects.

Jojie with IMA Marinelife boat in Coron, Palawan with BBC TV Crew

Jojie with IMA Marinelife boat in Coron, Palawan with BBC TV Crew

Fast forward to today.  Cebu’s premier island-hopping service, Islands Banca Cruises, which launched in in 2008 and became one of the top tourist activities, finally arrives in Davao to give us the same top notch service that earned them a good reputation.

Islands Banca Cruise Davao boats at the Pearl Farm Marina dock

Islands Banca Cruise Davao boats at the Pearl Farm Marina dock

Kirby Te, Islands Banca Cruises Davao franchisee, explains how they have personally tried and enjoyed the leading island hopping service provider in Cebu.

Guests gets pampered service by friendly staff

Guests gets pampered service by friendly staff

“They have a strong brand identity backed by their innovative ideas to offer a different island-hopping experience. We share the belief that the pleasure of an ideal island hopping getaway begins once the guests enters our comfortable bancas and are greeted by friendly and attentive crew,” Te explains.

Islands Banca Cruise boats have comfortable bean bags as sisters Jojie and Karen Alcantara try them out

Islands Banca Cruise boats have comfortable bean bags as sisters Jojie and Karen Alcantara try them out

True to his word, I’ve never been so pampered as soon as I got in the squeaky clean boat with an eye-catching color combination of white and orange.  With an exceptional service by uniformed staff and stewards (they form a line and make a ceremonial introduction to greet you before the boat revs off the pier and do the same when the tour is over), the super friendly crew anticipates your every move and needs like pampered guests in a hotel.

Approaching Vanishing Island in front of Samal Island City

Approaching Vanishing Island in front of Samal Island City

The banca feels so homey yet classy, equipped with amenities like its extended sundeck and my favorite bean bags to sit around, speakers, Ipod dock, dry and cold towels, and snacks and beverages for sale.  The best addition is an “upon request” wi-fi which allows you to post on Facebook and Twitter your location and what you are currently enjoying (which we did)!

Dropping by Vanishing Island

Dropping by Vanishing Island

As a Dabawenya, I was only able to experience for the first time docking at the Vanishing Island, and being able to go down and enjoy the clear shallow waters of the sand bar we normally just passed by en route to Samal Island.

Currently priced in promo package tours (check out their Facebook), Island Banca Cruises currently offers cruises to Davao’s top island destinations like Pearl Farm, Talicud Island, Isla Reta, Malipano Islets and famous dive sites like the Coral Garden, Angel’s Cove and the Marissa Dive Sites.

Dropping by Vanishing Island on a high tide

Dropping by Vanishing Island on a high tide

I highly recommend this tour service if you want to enjoy Davao’s tourism catch phrase “From Islands to Highlands”.  It is a trip worth the ride.  Special thanks to Kirby and Gay Te, Maggie Lim and the very efficient boat crew.

Islands Banca Cruise experience is worth the ride

Islands Banca Cruise experience is worth the ride

For inquiries and reservations, contact Islands Banca Cruises –Davao at (+6382) 284-2066 or (+63)906-3757933 or email at islandsbancadavao@ymail.com.  Islands Banca Cruises dock is located in Pearl Farm Marina Jetty, Lizada Drive, Lanang, Davao City.

VIEW MORE PHOTOS IN MY GALLERY

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Filed under: Adventures, Islands, Newspapers, Published Works, Travel, Trends

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The author is a multi-awarded photographer, journalist, and artist whose works are featured in tourism campaigns (It's More Fun in the Philippines), covers and spreads of books and international magazines. A long time columnist of SunStar Davao, she is a frequent traveler in search of inspirational heartwarming stories of human interest. She is also an  influencer and motivational speaker who gives photography workshops in universities and organizations. A former TV personality, she has done several print and TV commercials, event hosting and speaking engagements. In 2013, she has received an award from the City Government of Davao for her significant contribution in the social media. She was one of the speakers in Photo World Asia 2017.  A web designer/blogger since the 90s, she has seen the evolution of the internet and social media transition from the perspective of a traditional media person.

2 Comments

  1. jinesh says

    hi,jojie i m great fan of ur photography
    I really appreciate the art of urs…

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