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How about spending the New Year’s Eve on a yacht, with ice cold beer on your right and a hot partner on your left? And there’s good music plus all the food you can take before your #dietnow New Year’s Resolution kicks off. And yeah, fireworks lighting the sky.

Or maybe watching the fiery red sun setting on the horizon? Enjoy a cruise through the Mactan Channel or the nearby islands, on a lazy afternoon when you just want to chill and spend special moments with friends and family.

Or a summer party and island hopping with the barkada, a debut, a marriage proposal, a wedding. Name it, this yacht is all you need for a different kind of fun and memorable event.

Recently, I got invited to a sunset cruise in Mactan through Jokai Marine International. That was the first time I heard about this tour in Cebu, and also the first time to hear about Jokai. The name sounded weird to me, but later I’d learn that it’s the combination of the owners’ names: Johansen and Kaiser. OK, makes sense. Wink.

Baby, Let’s Cruise

I was playing in my mind what it would be like on a cruise in Cebu. Years back, I think that was in 2012, I’ve tried that sunset cruise at the Manila Bay. It was so so Great sunset, of course. That’s Manila Bay. The live music performance was OK, like that country music singer at the river cruise in Loboc. The plated food was OK, but the air from Manila Bay was the spoiler.

Maybe this would be different, I told myself. So, I went to the Jokai Cruise with my ever-reliable friend Mariel, but with high expectations.

At 3 PM, we boarded the yacht at JP Park Island’s docking area. We waited for one more hour to complete the guests, and then at four, we started sailing off to Olango Island. Mariel and I took the opportunity to catch up and take photos and meet some of the guests on the yacht.

Cool, fresh air. Nice music. (I was told there was supposed to be some deejay onboard, but cancelled last minute.) We were served some chips and red wine.

Past 4 PM, we reached Olango Island where we waited for sunset. Some of the guests bought sea urchin from the local fishermen. We stayed in the area for a good one hour and watched the sky transform into a dramatic canvass of gold and red. For me who loves sunset, that was relaxing moment.

Mariel also enjoyed the experience, she was even sold out in spending the New Year’s Eve on the yacht. That’s something we’ll both look forward to.

The Perfect Venue

Jokai’s catamaran yacht has been around for two years. With a capacity of 50 guests, it provides a hip and modern venue for special events like summer parties and engagement proposals.

Rates vary depending on the number of guests and the number of hours for the cruise.

Rates cover the following:

  1. Use of the yacht and facilities (built-in bar, 2 toilets, sky deck, small tables with chairs, benches with foams)

  2. Use of the dinghy (can fit up to 10 person)

  3. Crew service

  4. Use of yacht towels

  5. Use of snorkeling and bottom fishing gears

  6. Access to life-saving equipment in case of emergency (life vests, flares, parachute flares, smoke signals, and first aid kit)

  7. Use of plug-in auxiliary sound system (for tablets, smart phones, etc.)

  8. Insurance for 50 passenger

Food is not included in the yacht rental and boarding fee, but guests are allowed to bring their own food and drinks at no charge. The bar also sells some beverages such as water, canned juices, soda, and local beers.

Yes, you might find it a little pricey if you rent the yacht all alone. So, go get your gang. Tag along the whole family or your best buds at work, or organize an event, say an island hopping tour or a beer party–and you get the value for your money. Sure, you can party in a restaurant, a resort, or at home. But, come on, how many times have you done that for the past years?

Break the ice. Experience this extraordinary escapade in Mactan now.

**This blog was published and posted last Nov. 2, 2016.


Aris Mape is a travel insider at ABS-CBN's Choose Philippines. He loves orange, halo-halo, and PowerPoint, and hates beef, slow internet, and long taxi lines. His pastime is watching people watch other people. He swears on the power of smartphone. His half-life? Thirty.

Visit his blogsite at:

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