Philippines' first submarine tours launched in Cebu
The online news portal of TV5
CEBU CITY, Philippines - A Cebu-based firm has recently introduced the country’s first submarine tours in the waters near Mactan.
The Cebu Yellow Submarine and Undersea Tour Corp. said they have received the certificate of accreditation from the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) last week and that they are now accepting passengers to go on trips aboard the “Cebu Yellow Submarine.”
The Cebu Yellow Submarine can accommodate up to 48 passengers at a time.
Although it can go as deep as 100 meters below the surface, operators have decided not to go beyond 35 meters to ensure the safety of the passengers.
Anelito Gabison, operation and safety manager, said they also made sure to keep a distance of at least six meters away from the reef so as not to disturb the marine life.
General manager Jun Kim said they want to serve as many tourists as possible and will be offering the tours at a promo price of P1,200 each for local residents and P800 for children between five and 12 years old.
They will not be charging children four years old and below.
Kim said they have some 20 trips after getting the permit to operate from Marina.
The submarine has been at the Imperial Palace Waterpark Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City as one of its concessionaires since July last year.
Gabison, a former Coast Guard commander, said it took some time to get the permit to operate the submarine because the country did not have existing regulations for submersible vessels.
The Marina and Philippine Coast Guard are expected to come up with a set of regulations within the month.
The submarine, built in 1989 in Antwerp, Belgium, spans a length of 22.2 meters and weighs 99 tons.
It can travel at a maximum speed of five knots and runs on an electro-hydraulic system battery that lasts up to 72 hours.
Kim said they have a drop weight installed in the submarine’s hull that can be released in the event of an emergency.
The submarine was specifically built for tourists.
Before it was transferred to Cebu, Kim said the submarine operated in Pattaya, Thailand for five years before one of the investors came to the Philippines and decided it was better to have it here.
He said it took two years for them to plan and work out its transfer to Cebu.