FAQs

FAQs2019-10-05T06:33:05+00:00

About Traveling to the Country

What are the passport and VISA requirements to travel to the Philippines?2020-01-03T02:37:41+00:00

Temporary visitors from certain countries are allowed to enter the Philippines without a VISA for a period of stay of seven (7), fourteen (14), or thirty (30) days or less, provided they hold valid tickets for their return journey to port of origin or next port of destination and their passports valid for a period of at least six (6) months beyond the contemplated period of stay. Please refer to www.dfa.gov.ph for more accurate details.

When is the best time to travel to your offered dive destinations?2019-11-23T04:50:19+00:00

We schedule our trips along with the season making it ideal to travel with us whole year round. The summer months of March to June are normally the driest and calmest, and priority is given to Tubbataha as this is the only possible time to visit the site. The Visayan Seas encounter the calm waters during the cool months of September to December while the Amihan winds during December to March make it ideal to travel around Batangas and Mindoro, and all the way to Northern Palawan.

What are the main points of entry to the Philippines?2019-12-14T02:58:23+00:00

The main points of entry to the Philippines would be the international Airports located in Manila (NAIA 1, 2, and 3) and Cebu (Mactan International Airport).

How far are the cruise embarkation / disembarkation points from the arrival / departure airports?2019-11-23T04:53:04+00:00

For cruises departing/arriving in Anilao: NAIA 1, 2, and 3 are roughly 2.5 hours drive away to Anilao, Batangas. For extra measure, it is advisable to give an extra allowance of 1 hour to cover for extra traffic and stops along the way.

For cruises departing/arriving in Puerto Princesa: The embarkation/disembarkation point in Puerto Princesa is approximately 20 minutes away from Puerto Princesa Airport. Free transfer service is included in all Tubbataha regular trips.

For cruises departing/arriving in Mactan: Mactan Airport is approximately a 10-minute taxi ride away to the Cebu Yacht Club, where all our Visayan cruises will jump off. Free transfer service is included in all Visayan cruises.

What is the Philippine local currency and its conversion rate?2020-01-21T06:25:31+00:00

The local currency is Philippine PESO (PHP), which is more commonly accepted on board. However, you may also make payments in United States Dollars (USD) at prevailing exchange rates notified by Solid Seaventures Inc. at the time of payment. Conversion rate as of January 1, 2020 is USD 1 = PHP 50.90.

About the Trip

What should I bring with me on this trip?2020-01-03T03:45:05+00:00

We recommend our guests to bring as little luggage as possible for the trip. Bare essentials like light clothing, swimwear, slippers, and perhaps a jacket or a sweater for cooler evenings would suffice. For those booked on trips with land excursions, bringing a pair of shoes could be beneficial. Towels and toiletries are provided onboard, and dive gears are available for rent, subject to reservation and availability. We also have a full stock of basic medical supplies available for guests free of charge, however, any prescription medicines, personal vitamins, special diet food, etc. should be brought with you.

Will there be any mobile phone signal and email access onboard?2020-01-03T04:02:04+00:00

Yes, however, certain trips such as those going to Tubbataha will have limited or no access to mobile phone signals and internet connection as these trips will take you out to open sea and to remote places. Nonetheless, a reliable satellite phone onboard will be readily available to anyone’s disposal, corresponding charges apply.

What kind of food is served on board the Big Sky Explorer?2019-11-23T04:57:19+00:00

We offer a multicultural array of delicious and nutritious dishes ranging from Western to Chinese Asian to Local Filipino. Each meal is served buffet style in the covered Alfresco Dining area. Lunch and dinner meals will include soup, salad/vegetables, 2 to 3 choices of meat dishes, and rice/potatoes/pasta. Desserts will be served during every evening meal. Fresh fruits, snacks, and cookies are available throughout the day.

Are your trips customizable?2019-12-14T02:59:42+00:00

Our vessel is available for full chartering in which you may customize your itinerary. Nonetheless, we will do our best to entertain any special request/arrangement during standard trips, depending on the feasibility of the request.

About Booking and Rates

How do we book?2019-11-23T04:57:44+00:00

You may send us your booking inquiries at bookings@solidseaventures.com and a response email shall be given within 48 hours to confirm availability as well as answer any specific question/s. You may also conveniently reach us through WHATSAPP, VIBER, or MOBILE +639209133166 Mondays to Fridays between 9 AM to 5 PM local time for any queries. Once availability is confirmed, we shall require a 20% deposit to secure your reservation. The remaining balance of 80% shall then be collected at different time stages, to be paid at a maximum of ninety (90) days before the commencement of the trip. Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions for more information.

Will there be special rates for group bookings or full boat chartering?2019-11-23T04:58:27+00:00

Special rates are available for group bookings or full boat charters. For charter inquiries, please send us an email at bookings@solidseaventures.com and indicate the following details and requests for your special chartered trip: Dates, Duration, Destination/s, No. of Guests, Special Activities (onboard massage, kayaking, island hopping, etc).

Do you have rooms and rates for single travelers who wish to secure a private room?2019-11-23T04:59:16+00:00

A twin sharing room/suite may be booked provided a single supplementary rate of 80% of the full price shall be charged on top of the regular rate.

Do you have special non-diver rates for your trips? And are children allowed to join?2019-11-23T04:58:56+00:00

A 20% discount from the regular rate will be extended to non-divers who wish to join our trips. Children are allowed on board, however, for safety reasons, we require a minimum age of 7 years to join and must be accompanied by a non-diving parent at all times. Non-diving children sleeping in the same bed with parents will also be given a 50% discount.

Do you have any policy on crew tipping?2020-01-03T04:05:53+00:00

Tipping is not mandatory but rather the choice of an individual to show appreciation for an overall enjoyable experience. For those who wish to know the average tipping rate, USD 10 to 20 per day would be greatly appreciated by our crew.

Do you require guests to have travel insurance?2020-01-03T04:07:14+00:00

Obtaining travel insurance is an individual choice. We do not require guests to have one but we strongly recommend it when traveling with us as we will not be held liable for delays occurring during the cruise, delays and cancellations of flights, accommodations, or tours and transfers we organise on your behalf.

Do you offer additional travel services like arranging transfers, hotels, and extra tours?2020-01-03T05:08:57+00:00

We strive to assist our guests with their travel plans to the best as we could, even before or after their cruises with us. For any additional travel services you may want us to assist you with, please communicate with us at bookings@solidseaventures.com and we will do our best to accommodate and help organise your vacation plans.

About Diving

Is there a minimum level of certification required to join your trips?2020-01-03T06:08:55+00:00

For most of our trips, a minimum OW Certification will do (please do not forget your C-Card), however, we also recommend having a minimum number of 30 dives to get the most out of the diving experience, otherwise new divers may find some dives challenging and could opt to skip the dive.

Tubbataha Reefs Most dive sites are wall dives with occasional little to strong currents that allow divers to drift along the wall. In some sites, there are more to see on deeper levels. A minimum OW Certification is allowed for this trip, but our recommendation is to be an Advanced Diver to fully get the most out of this destination.

The Visayas Most of the dive sites included in the Visayan trips are considered shallow and have little or mild current, making it suitable for all levels of certification and is actually ideal for beginners. However, an AOW Certification is required for thresher diving in Monad Shoal, Malapascua.

Apo Reef and Coron Crystal clear waters and shallow dives make Apo Reef an ideal destination for beginners. There are some dive sites however that are beyond beginner level depths and occasionally experience mild to strong currents, which beginners could prefer to skip. An OW Certificate is acceptable for Coron as there are a number of excellent wrecks resting in considerable shallow depths available for exploration. The deeper and more challenging ones, on the other hand, are recommended more for AOW and technical divers.

PG, Verde Island, Anilao A minimum OW Certification is allowed to join this trip, however some dive sites in PG and Verde regularly experience medium to strong currents, and caution is advised at all times.

Is it possible to take a dive course aboard the Big Sky Explorer?2019-11-23T05:03:37+00:00

Yes. Discovery Diving and Open Water Certification are available for non-divers, while certified divers may enrol in AOW and Nitrox courses during the trip. Pre-booking is required to ensure the instructor’s availability and the necessary training materials are included onboard. Also, do note that not all dive trips are suitable for open water courses.

Will there be any dive gear / snorkeling gear available for rent on board?2019-11-23T05:04:00+00:00

Yes, we have 12 complete sets of rental gear. Please inform us in advance to reserve your rental requirement. Rentals are available on a daily basis, and for a special discounted rate if rented for the whole duration of the trip. Please refer to the On-board Extras PDF file for rates.

Are Surface Marker Buoys (SMB) required for the trip?2020-01-03T06:28:22+00:00

It is not a requirement but rather a recommendation for safety reasons. We always recommended each buddy team to dive with an SMB. We have rental SMBs available on board. Please refer to On Board Extras PDF for more information.

What is the ideal wetsuit thickness?2019-12-14T03:20:24+00:00

A 3mm wetsuit would suffice in most dive sites since the Philippines is a tropical country with tropical climate all year round (water temp of 26-29C). However, some may find it more comfortable to wear a 5mm wetsuit during the colder months of January and February (average water temperature of 24-26C).

What kind of scuba tanks are provided on board?2020-01-03T06:34:12+00:00

We provide 80cu aluminium tanks for use, and a limited number of 100cu tanks for rental. All tanks come with interchangeable DIN and Yoke valves.

Do you offer NITROX diving?2019-12-14T03:12:26+00:00

We offer EAN 32%. NITROX is available for FREE for bookings fully paid six (6) months or more prior to the scheduled trip (Early Bird Promo). For divers who are not yet NITROX certified, we offer NITROX Courses upon advance request.

Do you require divers to have dive insurance?2019-12-14T03:21:08+00:00

Dive insurance is mandatory for all guests partaking in scuba diving activities offered by Solid Seaventures Inc. Your dive insurance policy should cover scuba diving related injuries and emergency international evacuations. Medical treatments such as hyperbaric recompression should also be included in the coverage.

Dive insurance purchase options are also available for purchase upon boarding.

Is there emergency oxygen on board?2019-12-14T03:12:55+00:00

Yes, we always carry a sufficient amount of emergency oxygen on board in anticipation of any unlikely event.