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My problem with Montenegro Lines!

There is many ferry companies in the Philippines but there is only two of them that serve Palawan from Iloilo City. While I use Milagrosa Shipping most of the time, I would like to use Montenegro Lines. They have newer, faster and just better ships.

For those who don’t know who they are, they are probably the second largest ferry company in the Philippines. They serve a lot of smaller places. I have used them to go to Sibuyan Island in Romblon, Mindoro, and Bacolod many times. I have always used them to go from San Jose, Mindoro to Coron a few times.

I was able to easily drive my motorbike onto the ship and drive it back off on the other end of the trip. While the companies is a little more expensive than others, the ease of use with them considering having a motorbike worth the effort.

However, there has always been a problem with their route between Puerto Princesa and Iloilo via Cuyo. This is a trip that they do not have much competition and because of that, they see little value in being professional. It is quite the issue if you ask me.

Palawan problem with Montenegro Lines

As I see it, there is two problems related to the company and their route to Palawan. The extra cost for travel really does not brother me that much. They do have a newer and faster vessel. That is worth the extra 10% or so.

The first issue is how they run the route when they want and don’t when they don’t want to. Besides only doing the trip once a week (should be twice) they do not do it the same day of the week. It might leave out of Iloilo on Saturdays or it might leave on Mondays. You never know. It is very easy to miss the ferry leaving because of this.

While this is common in the Philippines, it is not good for tourism. It also hurts locals that only have so much time to travel because of work. I understand that ferries can be delayed and even have to wait for the ocean to rise but they can’t just not leave for several days.

As an American tourist, time can be limited before I have to go to the next country. I just can’t wait for several days to make the trip to wherever I am going. I will have to use the other company that is far more on a schedule (but slower) or check out Cebu Pacific Air’s new route from Puerto Princesa to Iloilo. 

The other issue is the times they tend to leave when they do sail. They also always leave out of Iloilo City very early in the morning. This mean you are out to sea almost all day before arriving in Cuyo, Palawan in the evening. Most people, myself included, like the overnight ferry, a stop in Cuyo, and then another overnight to Puerto Princesa.

One of the benefits of using ferries in the Philippines is you save on needing a hostel as well as you are arriving where you need to be early. Most tourists do not want to spend all day at sea when they could be on the beach or swimming in a waterfall somewhere.

My advice: go with Milagrosa Shipping

They might have older ships and they might be slower but if they say they are leaving at 7:30pm on Mondays and Thursdays; they will keep that schedule unless there is something wrong with the ship.

In reality, if you get the tourist class; the trip is not that long. The time does pass by quickly. Plus, the difference between them and the ferry with Montenegro Lines is just about two hours. It is arriving in Puertro Princesa at 7am or 9am. Not the end of the world.

I am hoping that that Montenegro Lines will get their act together and take the Puerto Princesa route serious. It really could be a good option if they did. This is especially true if you transporting a car from Iloilo City to Palawan.




1 reply
  1. Peter
    Peter says:

    This is more like it, and one of the most expensive boat ride in the intire country . I hope they get checked… Internal revenue


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