Mabuhay Maritime Express (MME), a wholly owned subsidiary of flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), has launched a premium ferry service between Kalibo and Boracay in the province of Aklan in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines.
The new service, launched on October 23, will lessen travel time between Kalibo and Boracay. Boracay was reopened to tourist activities on October 26 after a six-month cleanup.
The ferry service will use two brand-new 42-meter catamarans with tri-class configuration—first class, premium class, and regular.
The two 410-seater, high-speed catamarans, named MV Malambing and MV Magalang, will make four daily runs each, to be increased to eight by December. The catamarans were designed by Netherlands-based BV Scheepswerf Damen Gorinchem and made by Damen Shipyards in Singapore.
“We decided to join—and revolutionize—the inter-island ferry service business, to complement local air travel as a holistic approach to promoting Philippine tourism,” MME president Jaime J. Bautista said.
“We aim to offer travelers a seamless air to sea transfer, taking passengers to their favorite tourist destinations as fast and as comfortable as possible,” added Bautista, who is also PAL president and COO.
With support from the local government, MME is building its own jetty port in Kalibo that will be 10 minutes away from the airport, where free shuttles are available for Boracay-bound passengers.
The hour-and-a-half ferry service will be the fastest route to Boracay, as opposed to the over two-hour trip by land and a short boat transfer before MME.
Round-trip fares cost P2,500 for first class, P2,000 for premium, and P1,500 for regular seats. The fares are subject to VAT and other government fees.