Saturday, 24 May 2014

The Manila Bay Cruise (Pasay City, Metro Manila)

MV Spirit of Manila

The airconditioned lower deck
The one-of-a-kind Manila Bay Cruise, on board Sun Cruises' newly refurbished M/V Spirit of Manila, was launched in 2010.  

This double-decker cruise yacht, docked beside the Jumbo Palace, just after the Tanghalang Francisco Balagtas (Folk Arts Theater), offers world-class dinner cruise service along Manila Bay.  

Available for Filipinos and international tourists alike, it has 3 sailing times - 4:30PM to 5:45PM; 6:15PM to 7:30PM; and 8 PM to 9:15PM.  The most popular is the second schedule where one can catch the famous Manila Bay sunset, which spectacularly painting the sky with a reddish or orange hue, as well as the 7 PM fireworks spectacle of the nearby SM Mall of Asia.  
Sunset over Manila Bay

Dusk at the Manila Film Palace
The M/V Spirit of Manila, which can accommodate between 90 to 120 passengers, has two decks with the dining room just about taking up all the decks. 

The lower deck is enclosed and airconditioned while the open-air, upper deck is for al fresco dining. Its crew appears to be professionally trained, as Sun Cruises’ parent company, the Magsaysay Group, is known for its training center for seamen.  

The extraordinary cruise of this clean and seaworthy boat, at a leisurely 13 knots, takes at least an hour and fifteen minutes.  Its  route across Manila Bay takes it southwards, toward the vicinity of SM Mall of Asia, Asia’s third largest mall, before heading toward Roxas Boulevard then turning around and heading back to the dock. 
The garish and magnificent lights along Roxas Boulevard
The dinner buffet table
After the sun set, guests will be awed with the towering skyline of the Ermita and the Makati Business District, visible for a time, as well as Manila’s fine buildings such as GSIS and the Manila Film Center.  

Not many get to see Manila’s skyline by the bay, one of the best natural harbors in the world.  Then, as dusk falls, it starts to fade as the garish and magnificent lights along Roxas Boulevard, seemingly more attractive when seen from a distance, come to life against the black velvet night sky, its reflection also seen on Manila Bay as you feel the sea breeze.  
Come 7 PM, guests are sometimes treated to a fireworks display set amidst the spectacular changing lights of SM Mall of Asia’s The Eye Ferris Wheel, truly a sight to behold.

Fireworks display at SM MOA
The acoustic duo
An important and much anticipated part of this cruise is the sumptuous, full course (appetizer, soup, main course, dessert) gourmet buffet dinner of Filipino and international (Continental, Oriental and Spanish) cuisine that will surely satisfy anyone’s palate. Catered by Manila Catering Services, the official caterer of the cruise, Sun Cruises’ meals are cooked elsewhere then re-plated on board. 
The dinner cruise also included live entertainment in the form of the acoustic duo which adds to the already relaxing, soothing and romantic atmosphere.  After singing a number of tunes, they would gladly ask for the audience's requests as well as serenade birthday and wedding anniversary celebrants. 
This enchanting, exhilarating and romantic experience is ideal for those who want to have a quick but unforgettable getaway from the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila. 
Sun Cruises: Fernando Ma. Guerrero cor. Paseo Palisoc St., CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City. Tel: (632) 834-6857 to 58, (632) 966-9391 to 92 or (632) 527-5555.  Website: www.corregidorphilippines.com. Cost: Php550 per person (includes roundtrip fee, dinner and live entertainment, drinks not included). Ticketing booth is located at the entrance of the dock. They don’t operate during bad weather and typhoons.

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