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Ferry between El Nido and Coron

Malmo, Sweden
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Ferry between El Nido and Coron

Hi,

I am going to take the ferry (outrigger) between El Nido and Coron around 29th of December. I dont really mind the 8 hours and a bit rough ride but I am somewhat unsure about the schedule reliability etc of the boat.

What is the probability of the ferry getting cancelled due to not enough people traveling? Or due to bad weather? How are the elements in the area during December (wind, waves etc)?

I know you cant predict the future but I am looking for previous experiences.

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Ferry between El Nido and Coron

No one can tell you in advance about the weather. Who knows if there will be a typhoon etc.

El Nido Art Cafe can tell you more about the schedules of the Bankas

Tommo

Malmo, Sweden
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2. Re: Ferry between El Nido and Coron

I took the banca boat today. It was Benso 2 with 70ppl capacity. They had Overcomer going as well but it was a smaller boat (40ppl cap).

We were maybe around 25pp traveling today and it was a really rough ride. It took almost 10 hours to reach Coron incl a 30min break at open sea to fix some wooden parts on the side wings. The first six hours were tough with rough sea (sunny but windy) and half of the pasengers were vomiting. Things got calmer during the last four hours once there was some protection from the westly wind.

I think that safety in general felt "ok" but the sea sickness was a major concern. Also, it can easily become a very exhausting experience if there is a delay (like today).

Would I do it again? Yes. But I would try to plan around it if possible.

I have put some photos on my blog.

…blogspot.com/2014/12/boat-from-el-nido-to-c…

As for the questions on the boat schedule and other practicalities, I would recommend doing the research once arrived in El Nido - El Nido Art Cafe has all the information needed.

Finally, to state the obvious. The boat trip experience varies with weather. After arriving in Coron, I talked with another traveler who took the boat a day before me - 7 hours and no one being sea sick.

Edited: December 29, 2014, 10:18 pm
Hobart, Australia
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3. Re: Ferry between El Nido and Coron

Hey, thank you very much for this info, this is the best information we have had yet regarding this service, and now i think that this TOPIC needs to be put up the FAQ list on the right side of this page so others can see it, and we can direct other travelers to this Topic if and when the need arises.

I for one will bookmark this Topic in my watch list for future reference as well.

Cheers.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
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4. Re: Ferry between El Nido and Coron

Thanks for posting.

It just reinforces my previous decision not to try this trip.

Tommo

Puerto Princesa...
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5. Re: Ferry between El Nido and Coron

"30min break at open sea to fix some wooden parts on the side wings." - and there is the danger. When an outrigger becomes detached the boat is liable to capsize. The "construction" usually relies upon cheap lumber, bamboo, and nylon fishing line.

Hobart, Australia
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6. Re: Ferry between El Nido and Coron

@ gl893 ..... could you possibly write up a bit of a Bunso trip report for us, just outlining some details about where you actually caught the Bunso 2 Banca (where it docked at El Nido and in Coron) plus the schedule, as in what time it departs each town, as well as the cost.

that info, along with the photos of the Bunso 2 Banca in your Blog will help others to make a more informed decision about whether or not they would chance using this service.

Cheers

Malmo, Sweden
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7. Re: Ferry between El Nido and Coron

Glad that you find my post useful.

Here are few additional bits of information.

1) The precise ticket cost varies between the various ferries and ticket agents. In general it is around 1500 pesos for a banca boat between El Nido and Coron. My ticket with Bunso 2 was 1600 pesos, purchased at Artcafe.

2) There are in fact quite many boats between El Nido and Coron and the schedules are changing from time to time. When I was there, there was a daily connection and sometimes two boats same day. In general, the bancas leave between 8-9 and the travel time is estimated to seven hours (with good weather conditions). I recommend going to Artcafe (or another bigger travel agency) and getting the latest information.

3) Bunso 1/2/3 and Overcomer 1/2/3 boats leave from the harbour pier in El Nido at the west end of the town beach. They arrive at the Coron pier that is app. 2km east of the town center. I suppose this applies for most of the other bancas as well.

4) It's maybe obvious but I would definitely not recommend taking the boat if you're traveling with kids.

Hobart, Australia
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8. Re: Ferry between El Nido and Coron

Thank you very much, that info is what we needed.

The main thing to remember here is that you cannot, or should not try and pre-book seats on any of these services because they will only operate depending on the weather conditions on any given day, so those who are traveling on a strict itinerary should not rely on these services to get them from EN to Coron (or vice versa) because you could end up not even getting there.

At least the Bunso is a larger Banca and has the enclosed cabin area, but obviously because they are Banca's, they are not going to be the most comfortable mode of transport.

Maybe if they has some of those big ones that go between Batangas City and Mindoro Island it might be a bit safer to travel on, as i quite like traveling n those ones to Puerto Galera and White Beach, even in rough water.

About time someone started a ferry service with a proper ocean going boat that can do the job much better and safer.

Cheers.

Malmo, Sweden
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9. Re: Ferry between El Nido and Coron

I agree about the pre-booking. The tickets can be arranged after arrival in El Nido. Also, I didnt paid my ticket until the day before, once it was "confirmed" that the boat was going.

However, my understanding is that unless there is a very serious weather problem, the bancas are not cancelled. I talked with several travel agents about it but it's difficult to come up with any probabilities/statistics on how often they get cancelled.

Finally, Bunco 2 is in fact going to Mindoro (from Coron) as well.

Edited: December 30, 2014, 1:52 pm
Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Ferry between El Nido and Coron

I agree glenpinn. Surely with the growing demand from foreigners and non-Palawan locals to travel in Palawan, a decent boat every second day each way would be viable. M-W-Fridays one way, Tu-Th-Sat the other; rest day for Mass and other activities Sundays.

Edited: December 30, 2014, 2:12 pm