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I had an opportunity to ride the ferries going around Sydney including some of the islands that were part of the attractions of the city. We rode a ferry from Darling Harbor to Cockatoo Island, which used to be for shipbuilding and repairs. It was also historically significant not just because of the ships that were built or repaired there but also because it was used as a correctional facility.
Information and fares – one can get detailed information on ferry services at the wharf and also purchase single trip or top up cards from the machines conveniently located in the area.
Information on the ferry services including the network and use of Opal cards to pay for your fares
One can use the Opal card to take ferry rides. You can top up (reload) at terminals at the wharf
The wharf where we were to await our ferry for Cockatoo Island
Sign showing which ferry lines dock at Wharf 1: F4 is for Circular Quay and F3 is for Parramatta, which includes a stop at Cockatoo Island.
The arrival of our ferry at the port
The cabin was practically empty when we boarded the ferry.
A better look at the spacious cabin
Advisory for all passengers
Ferry layout and safety plan
A view of the bridge and showing the name of the ferry. We discovered that each ferry was named after a prominent female sports figure.
Our ferry ride to Cockatoo Island afforded us splendid views of the waterfront properties and landmarks. The ferry also had few passengers so we could go around the boat to have an appreciation of the sights as well as the vessel itself. I will post some photos of the views from the ferry in a future article.
A niece posted on social media about a boat ride she took from Calamba, Laguna to Binangonan, Rizal. I immediately became curious about this as this presented an alternative mode of transport across the Laguna de Bay that could significantly cut travel time between major towns in Laguna and Rizal. Perhaps a boat ride could also cut substantial minutes between these provinces and Manila if only there was a direct connection or service with the Pasig River Ferry. I learned that it cost 50 pesos for a 45-minute trip from Calamba and Binangonan. Both the cost and the travel time are significantly less than what it would take via land and the roads connecting the two towns. I would estimate that the travel time using the South Luzon Expressway, Circumferential Road 6, Eastbank Road and Manila East Road would probably take more than 2 hours and the tolls alone will cost much more than 50 pesos. And this was via private transport. It would be longer and more expensive using public transport considering also that a person would have to make several transfers to travel between Calamba and Binangonan.
Outrigger ferrying people and goods across the Laguna de Bay (photo courtesy of Zarah Bombio)
The boats are practically the same ones that ferry people to and from Talim Island and my niece mentioned that there is a regular service of at least one boat every hour. Certainly this option should be considered by transport planners as they think of alternative modes for more efficient travel.
I noticed a recent surge in interest in inter-island ferries as people continue to ask us about schedules and fares. Most of these were on past articles here about my trips to Mindoro using a typical RORO ferry (Batangas to Calapan) and a fast ferry (Calapan to Batangas). I have taken ferries along two other routes before (Iloilo-Bacolod and Cebu-Tagbilaran) and have written about the trip between Cebu and Tagbilaran quite a while ago. In a trip to Cebu last June, I remember picking up some brochures while going around and checking out hotels for a conference we are helping organize this September. Among the brochures were information on ferry services to and from Cebu.
Information on SuperCat fast ferry services between Cebu and Ormor (Leyte) or Tagbilaran (Bohol).
Regular RORO ferry trips between Cebu and many other destinations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao
[This post has generated a lot of inquiries about fares and schedules for RORO services between Batangas and Mindoro. I would like to clarify that what I wrote about is on one experience we had on a trip about 2 years ago. I am not connected with any of the ferry companies nor am I connected with the port authorities. For more info/details, here as some useful links:
Following is the original post:
Due to rough seas, there were no SuperCat trips between Batangas and Mindoro when we arrived at Batangas Port one Thursday morning. It seemed that there was only one fast ferry under the banner of SuperCat that plies the Batangas-Calapan route and it was on hold in Calapan due to rough waters. Later in the day though I would theorize that there might not have been enough passengers that morning between the cities and a decision had to be made not to make the trip, with the convenient and irrefutable reason of rough seas.
RORO Ferry ticket (left) and passenger terminal fee ticket
A view of two RORO ferries docked at the Batangas Port. One was operated by Montenegro Lines’ Marina Ferries and the other by Starlight Ferries.
Passengers boarding the ferry Reina Hosanna. Some vehicles, mostly trucks were already loaded on the ferry. Others would have to wait until passengers have boarded the vessel.
A view inside the ferry where vehicle and freight are positioned and secured for the voyage. People form a line before the narrow stairway to the passenger level.
Passengers climbing the narrow stairway to the passenger deck of the Reina Hosanna.
A view of the Batangas Port from the upper (view) deck of the ferry right above the passenger deck. Trucks can be seen boarding (rolling on) the ferry. The orange things are lifeboats lined along the rear of the passenger deck.
A provincial bus arrives to board another RORO ferry, the Starlight Nautica, which was scheduled to leave an hour after our scheduled departure. There are many bus companies plying the western nautical highway route , which can take the traveler to Caticlan, the jump off point for Boracay Island.
Reina Hosanna crewmen raise anchor.
A view inside the passenger deck – seats were cushioned but mostly dilapidated and obviously requiring re-upholstery. The cabin seemed to be originally air-conditioned and we were lucky that the weather was fine and not so hot that day. Some passengers went to the upper deck to get some air.
Rough seas along the Verde Island passage to Calapan. We actually saw two fast craft going the opposite direction during our almost 3-hour voyage to Mindoro. One was a SuperCat and another was a FastCat, and they were traveling despite the same rough waters shown in the photo!
Another ferry preparing to leave Calapan Port.
Crew throwing a line to the port as our ferry docked at Calapan.
Passengers disembarking from the ferry.
Vans waiting for passengers bound for various destinations in Mindoro including those in Mindoro Occidental on the other side of the island.
It was my first ferry ride in a long time. The last one was a fast ferry trip using the SuperCat service from Cebu to Tagbilaran, Bohol. That was in the afternoon and was quite a rough ride, too. I think shipping lines should not balk on the safety and comfort of passengers. People would be willing to pay a higher fare if the vessels are in better condition and facilities such as seats are well-maintained. I can only imagine the traveling conditions during the peak periods when a lot of people would take these RORO ferries as they are usually the cheaper and practical option between islands. –
In a previous post on the Batangas Port, I featured the newer passenger terminal for fast crafts or fast ferries and large outriggers (katig). This time, I am writing about the Roll-On, Roll-Off (RORO) passenger terminal just across the road from the fast ferry terminal. Heading to Calapan for a meeting there, we were disappointed that we could not take a fast ferry (i.e., SuperCat) to Mindoro. SuperCat ticketing staff informed us that fast ferry services were suspended due to rough seas between Batangas and Calapan. And so to be able to make our appointment, we had to take the slow ferry, which is actually a RORO ferry to Mindoro.
Passengers can purchase their tickets from one of the booths just beside the terminal. Various shipping lines provide services between Batangas and the islands of Mindoro and Romblon.
Schedules and fares of ferry services are posted on the windows of each shipping lines’ booth.
Montenegro Lines operates the most frequent RORO ferry trips between Batangas and Mindoro. RORO ferries leave Batangas every hour for destinations in Mindoro and there is a 24-hour service between Batangas and Calapan. We paid PhP195.00 for a one-way trip to Calapan, Oriental Mindoro.
Waiting area outside the terminal, which can become very crowded during holidays. One passes by this area right after paying the terminal fee (PhP 30.00) prior to entering the terminal building.
Convenience store at the ground floor inside the passenger terminal. At the ground floor are several other eateries where passengers can purchase and eat meals before boarding a vessel.
The passenger terminal had clean restrooms at the time we were there. I just hope these restrooms are of similar conditions during the peak periods of travel.
View from across the passenger terminal showing berths for large outriggers (katig) that people can opt to take between Batangas and Mindoro. These are popular for people heading to the resort town of Puerto Galera. These rides can be quite bumpy (and dangerous) so there are concerns regarding safety.
Seats and shops inside the passenger terminal. On the right is a passenger having a pedicure inside the terminal. My companion was asking me about the women who were carrying small chairs around. Upon observation, we found that the answer was that these chairs were used by women offering manicures and pedicures to waiting passengers.
The waiting area is located at the second level of the terminal.
Passengers can get snacks and souvenirs from the small shops at the terminal waiting area.
When boarding was announced, people filed out of the waiting area to walk across towards the pier. There is a walkway connecting the terminal to the pier.
Passengers descend the walkway towards the ferry we were to board. Shown in the photo are people walking past trucks waiting to board the RORO ferries.
While many passengers travel light, there are some who probably had a lot of luggage because they were coming from longer trips (e.g., flew in from abroad) or maybe taking a long vacation.
Fellow passengers walking towards our ferry to Calapan.