Bicol fastcraft embarks on maiden voyage

NAGA CITY—A high-speed ferry service from Catanduanes to Albay embarked on its maiden voyage yesterday after receiving its Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) from the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) regional office earlier this month.

Photo via John TW Tarrobal
Owned by businessman Carlito Tariman, the M/V Silangan Express 1 twin-hulled aluminium waterjet vehicle accommodates some 300 passengers in its airconditioned cabins.

The vessel reduces the travel time across Maqueda channel from four hours to only two hours.

Accommodation costs P395 for trips to San Andres, Catanduanes, and P450 for trips to Virac.

Senior citizens, students, persons with disability, and children between the ages of 3 and 11, however, enjoy discounts of 20 to 50 percent.

The ferry departs at 9:30 a.m. from the capital town of Virac and arrives in Tabaco City at 11:30. It leaves from Tabaco City again at 12:30 and reaches San Andres at 2 p.m. Finally, it returns to Tabaco City at 4 p.m.

Around 16,000 passengers ride the ferry services from Tabaco City to Catanduanes monthly, according to the Philippine Ports Authority.

Department of Tourism Regional Director Maria Ravanilla said the fastcraft will give a huge boost to tourism in Catanduanes, which offers a number of majestic surf and dive sites.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM