Philippines Resort and Liveaboard Snorkeling Trip

Join This 14 Day Small Group Tour of the Visayan Islands

November 13-26, 2022
November 18 - December 1, 2023

We are pleased to present this fantastic Philippines resort and liveaboard snorkeling trip to you. It combines a resort stay with a liveaboard tour in the Visayan Islands, a wonderful Coral Triangle destination. Join a small group of 15 snorkelers at the lovely Magic Island Resort in Moalboal and aboard the beautiful 107 foot yacht, Atlantis Azores. For 14 days you will explore serene islands with diverse and healthy reefs, clear waters, and vibrant marine life.

Purple anemone with clownfish on a Philippines coral reef

You will snorkel numerous places including Moalboal, and the islands of Cabilao, Balicasag, Panglao, Sumilion and Apo. Each offers unique and different underwater topography, plunging walls to shallow coral gardens, pinnacles, and sea mounts. Much of the snorkeling will be enjoyed over shallow fringing reefs - expect healthy hard and soft coral gardens with plenty of turtles, potential for rays and sharks, and a high diversity of fish life. Conditions in the water should make for easy snorkeling with protection from neighboring islands and calm surface conditions - these locations are not prone to strong currents.

Snorkeler swimming over vibrant Cabilao Philippines reef

This trip is being run by our partner and friend Ben and his team. Based in the U.K., they are experts at running amazing excursions, and have a great appreciation for the underwater world. You will be accompanied by a guide from Ben's team for the entire trip, and there will be local guides for every snorkeling opportunity.

Where Are the Visayan Islands and What Is the Itinerary?

The Philippines are an island group in Southeast Asia. They are an important part of the Coral Triangle, a region known as the epicenter of marine biodiversity of the world. The Visayan Islands are a group of central Philippines islands, including Negros, Cebu, and Bohol.

Getting There
International flights are readily available to Cebu International Airport (CEB). You will be met there by a driver and taken to Magic Island Resort.

Philippines Resort and Liveaboard Snorkeling Trip Map

After six nights at the Magic Island Resort, you will be transferred to the Atlantis Dumaguete Resort for one night.

The next morning you will board the Atlantis Azores Liveaboard yacht where you will spend the next six nights. After breakfast on your last morning on the yacht, you will make your way to the Dumaguete Airport for your included flight back to Cebu, where your tour ends.

What Will the Magic Island Resort and Snorkeling From There Be Like?

Aerial View of the shoreline and boats in front of Magic Island Resort Philippines
Juvenile Angelfish over sponge covered reef Philippines

During your stay at Magic Island Resort, you will be snorkeling the reefs around Moalboal on the western coast of Cebu. You will see a diverse range of marine life, like schooling snapper and trevally, clownfish, and turtles on the fringing reef walls in the area. The reefs here are healthy and shallow with an abundance of reef critters like frogfish, pipefish, nudibranch, and octopus to see.

You will visit Pescador Island with the potential to see reef sharks and abundant tropical fish. This well-known sea-mount and uninhabited islet has coral covered walls that come near the surface.

Your group will also snorkel at Panagsama which is well known for schooling sardines in the hundreds and thousands, you may see their extraordinary formations as they shift and change shapes as predators approach.

Mandarinfish at Magic Island Philippines

For five days your group will have 3-4 snorkeling sessions per day by private boat to spectacular local reefs.

You can also snorkel the house reef anytime as it is always open. It is full of lively corals, abundant fish, and many critters, including the wonderful resident Mandarinfish!

Night snorkeling will also be offered and is recommended for seeing eels, rays, urchins, barracuda, and more.

Butterflyfish and Moorish Idols over a Philippines hard coral reef

About Magic Island Resort

Aerial view of Magic Island Resort Philippines
Magic Island Resort Cottage Interior

Located in its own private corner of Moalboal, Magic Island Resort makes for the perfect tropical escape. A small number of air-conditioned, traditional style cottages are set around the property, offering spectacular views out to the landscape of eastern Cebu and the Tenon Sea.

Central pool and cottages at Magic Island Resort Philippines

There’s a pool to cool off in between snorkeling excursions and plenty of loungers for lazy afternoon book reading. In the evening you can head to the terrace for starlit drinks. Full board is provided with delicious international fare in their ocean view, open air, and open kitchen dining area.

Atlantis Dumaguete Resort

After your stay at Magic Island Resort, you will be transferred to Atlantis Dumaguete Resort for a one night stay. There's excellent "muck snorkeling" directly in from of the resort where you can see weird and wonderful marine life at your leisure.

Atlantis Dumaguete Resort

You can also spend your time relaxing by the pool, walking on the beach, or lounging in the hammock on your balcony.

What Will the Snorkeling Be Like From the Atlantis Azores Liveaboard?

Green Sea Turtle on a soft coral reef in the Philippines

The following morning you will board the Atlantis Azores Liveaboard right from the resort. While aboard, you will snorkel reefs around a number of different islands including Pamilacan, Sumilon, Cabilao, Apo, Balicasag, and Panglao. The reefs surrounding these islands are beautiful with huge old coral formations, a variety of colorful soft corals, a multitude of tropical reef fish species, turtles, frogfishes, and more. The waters in this area are home to pods of dolphins and we have a good chance to spot some in this archipelago. While in the area we will also make a stop at Virgin Island, a nearby sand bar and picturesque islet.

For five days your group will have 3-4 snorkeling sessions per day from two zodiac tender boats.

Snorkeler in a large school of sardines Philippines

Pamilacan Island is home to about 240 families with a history of subsistence fishing, that have transitioned to prioritizing the health of the waters that support their lifestyle, and now also offer many tourism services. The island's healthy reefs are full of turtles, anemones, nudibranchs, jacks, sardines, and an abundance of other sea life. You will enjoy powder white beaches here and an island tour by community members.

Aerial View of Sumilon Island Philippines

Sumilon Island was the first marine protected area in the Philippines and was created as a marine sanctuary in 1974. The years of protection have paid off, and it boasts stunning reefs with an abundance of schooling of fish. Here we will spend some time enjoying the pristine beaches, and also enjoy a beach BBQ for dinner.

Orange soft coral on Philippines reef with fish.

Cabilao Island also has some spectacular reefs with giant gorgonian fans and healthy soft corals, bigger fish can often be seen patrolling the reefs in deeper water.

Many fish over healthy hard coral reef in the Philippines.

Apo Island has been a marine preserve and no-take-zone for 35 years. The large colorful reefs are very healthy and full of sea life. Expect to see lots of nudibranchs, and green and hawksbill turtles, schooling jacks, trevally, and barracuda.

About the Atlantis Azores Liveaboard

Atlantis Azores Liveaboard Yacht

The 107 foot Atlantis Azores yacht is a world-class liveaboard complete with seven deluxe state rooms which come equipped with private bathrooms, showers, and air-conditioning.

Atlantis Azores Liveaboard Deck Layout
Atlantis Azores Deluxe State Room

All meals are included, and are freshly prepared. There are snacks and drinks always available. Dietary restrictions (vegan, gluten free, etc.) can be accommodated. And all drinks are included, with social servings of beer, wine, and rum. You may also bring your own beverages with no corkage fee.

Atlantis Azores Sun Deck
Dining Room Atlantis Azores

Atlantis Azores RIB Snorkel Boat

As well as a spacious lounge, the ship has a large sun deck, bar, grill and hot tub. Some evenings there will be marine life presentations, and there are fish ID reference books and novels in the library.

There is a spacious dive deck for storing your snorkel gear, as well as a camera room.

Most snorkeling will be done from two zodiac tender boats with a short ride to the sites, and there are hot showers for rinsing off on the rear deck of the main boat when you return.


Trip Details and How to Sign Up

A giant clam and some hard corals on a reef in the Philippines.

This is a small group charter and we expect it to fill quickly. Your spot is reserved with your deposit. Contact Ben below for deposit instructions.

Trip Dates:
November 13-26, 2022
- Trip full, request to be waitlisted below.
November 18 - December 1, 2023 - Available.

Price:
$5195 US per person (Twin/Double Share)

The initial deposit for this trip is $400 US per person. At six months there is another $1000 US per person interim deposit. The final balance will be due three months before departure. A few payment options are available including debit and credit cards.

Individual travelers - Ben will happily find someone of the same sex for you to share a room with. If he cannot find you someone, no single supplement surcharge will apply.

Inclusions:

  • All internal transfers and connections (from/to Cebu International Airport)
  • 6 night Magic Island Resort Superior Deluxe Cottage with full board (all meals)
  • 5 days Magic Island snorkeling boat, 3-4 sessions per day
  • 1 night Atlantis Dumaguete Resort Deluxe Room with full board (all meals)
  • 6 nights Atlantis Azores Liveaboard Deluxe State Room with full board (all meals)
  • All drinks on board Atlantis Azores including social servings of beer, wine and local rum
  • 5 days Atlantis Azores snorkeling boat, 3-4 sessions per day
  • Marine Park Fees
  • Services of Snorkel Venture guide plus local snorkeling guides
Exclusions:
  • International flights
  • Snorkel equipment rental
  • Gratuities
  • Travel and health insurance
  • Optional Tours from Magic Island

Trip Organizers
Ben and his U.K. based team are the organizers and leaders of this trip (more about them below). Galen and Nicole from TropicalSnorkeling.com are promoting this trip, but all signups, trip organization and payments are made to and managed by Ben's team. TropicalSnorkeling.com does receive a referral fee in exchange for promoting the trip, at no extra cost to attendees.

How to Sign Up or Learn More?
Use the contact form below to contact Ben and his team to request more information about them and express your interest in signing up. They will get back to you shortly with full details.




More About Ben and Our Partnership

Ben and Nicole heading out on the snorkel boat in Alor, Indonesia.

Ben (pictured with Nicole) is our friend and snorkeling trips partner. He and his team are based in the U.K. and have over 20 years of experience guiding in Asia and beyond. He has been running his own business since 2010 and is primarily offering guided snorkeling trips, but he started with diving. He began offering snorkeling specific trips because he was aware that snorkelers often get the short end of the stick when thrown in with divers. He and his team love the freedom and low stress of snorkeling, and are very aware of the different needs of snorkelers versus divers, in terms of the reef depth, and calm surface conditions needed.

From our experience going on one of his snorkeling trips we found it very well organized, the guides were fantastic and very helpful, and the underwater experiences were exceptional. Snorkeling groups really get the benefit of all of Ben and his guides' years of experience in the water, and with different resorts and liveaboards.

All of his trips are small groups of 12-18 guests, or with a similar ratio of snorkelers to guides. And for where they visit, and how packed they are with experiences, they are affordable.

His company is licensed and insured. Barring extreme circumstances they do not cancel trips, and all funds are held in a trust until the trip is completed giving you 100% financial security if they or any of their suppliers go out of business before the trip happens.

Learn More About the Yacht & Resort

Atlantis Azores and Dumaguete Resort Website

TripAdvisor Reviews of Atlantis Dumaguete Resort

Magic Island Resort Website

TripAdvisor Reviews of Magic Island Resort


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