There are two types of trips to Tubbataha – the transition trips and the non-transition trips. Transition trips are trips whose origin and final destination are different. These are usually the first and last trip of the season wherein the boat would leave Manila and go to Tubbataha and then terminate its voyage at Puerto Princesa. Non-transition trips typically start and end at Puerto Princesa.
If you’re flying into Manila, you will likely enter the Philippines via one of the three international terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. From the airport, you can take a cab to the Manila Yacht Club or your hotel should you choose to stay an extra night in Manila before leaving for your trip. According to Agoda, there are 16 hotels that are within a kilometer of the yacht club. Please allow buffer times when traveling within Manila as traffic conditions can be very congested especially during rush hour.
The Oceana Maria is usually docked at the Manila Yacht Club at Roxas Boulevard in the City of Manila. The Yacht Club is roughly 8 kilometers from the airport. The boat typically leaves Manila in the evening and will reach Apo Reef in Mindoro Occidental by sunrise. This can allow guests to have one day of diving at Apo Reef. The next day’s stop would be a short one at Cuyo Island. These stops are done to break up the amount of time that it takes to Tubbataha – almost 36 hours of continuous sailing if no breaks and stopovers were made.
If you’re going on a non-transition trip, you will need to round trip tickets between Manila and Puerto Princesa. Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia Zest all fly to Puerto Princesa multiple times a day. Transfers from the Puerto Princesa Airport to the City Port where the boat will be docked is covered in the Oceana Maria package.
The boat usually leaves early evening with a target arrival of during the first hours of sunlight at Tubbataha. Four dives will be scheduled every day and guests are welcome to suggest variations to the schedule depending on their objectives and skill level. The boat typically leaves Tubbataha on the afternoon of the last diving day – usually dependent on the time of the first person’s flight the next day.