Hubby and I attended the launching of MV Starlite Saturn, its fourth brand-new roll-on, roll-off vessel last week at the Batangas Port, Starlite Ferries. We both love to travel, but we never tried riding a Roro. We we’re so excited that we had explored this ship before it was officially open to to the public.
Starlite Ferries is a 100 percent Filipino-owned company that started operations in 1995 with their first route Batangas-Calapan (Mindoro) to date, Starlite brought convenience to Filipino sea travelers by opening new routes such as Roxas-Caticlan, Roxas-Odiongan and guarantees more routes to open as they connect Luzon to Mindanao.
M/V Starlite Saturn has a speed of 13.5 knots or nautical miles per hour. She has a rounded hull that rests deeper in the water for greater stability, bow thruster for vessel assistive manueverability and a bulbous bow that allows it to cut through waved more efficiently.
The 2,700 gross ton ship can ferry 711 passengers and 20 drivers in bunk comfortably on its upper decks and up to 21 buses in its hold.
Unlike the second-hand ships now playing Philippines seas which were built for sailing in Japan’s calm inland seas, Starlite Saturn and other vessels in the Batangas-based shipping company’s fleet are designed to navigate the country’s open sea routes and seasonal rough waters.
With the Philippines composed of thousands of islands, Starlite’s modern Ro-Ro vessels can significantly boost tourism in the country as they can facilitate trips to various tourism destinations. Tourists and residents alike can now afford to explore the different islands with ease, safety and comfort as Starlite vessels provide a scenic alternative to road and air travel.
Starlite’s fleet of brand new Ro-Ro vessels has undergone stringlent inspection by Nipppon KaijiKyokai or Class NK, a member of International Association of Classification Society (IACS) that provides certification and classification services to 20 perscent of the world’s fleet.
Each stage of development of the vessels, from design to planning to production, has been meticulously crafted by some of the world’s best maritime designers and engineers, creating a world-class open-water, seagoing vessel.
The business class is air-conditioned with luxurious reclining seats with armrest.
The economy class is perfect for budget travelers, they will also have a comfortable seating and other amenities.
The ferries also have an elevator for handicapped passengers; two ramps for passengers; CCTV cameras in strategic locations for heightened security; room with beds for passengers with medical conditions, breastfeeding mothers and diaper changing station for infants; palypen for kids; and a helipad for emergency medical evacuation.
Starlite vessels are built by the Kegoya Dockyards in Kure City in Hiroshima, Japan. This is the same dockyard that built the legendary Japanese battleship, Yamato, which saw action in decisive naval battles in the Pacific during the Second World War.
Passengers are assured of a safe voyage in Starlite ferries as these are equipped with a Automatic Identification System (AIS) or automatic tracking system for identifying and locating nearby vessels.
The ferries also receive regular navigational and meteorological weather warnings and forecast, while propulsion systems and bow thrusters allow for easiers maneuvering.
Fast, safe, cost efficient means of sea transport provided for the Filipino community; that is the Starlite way.
We can’t wait to experience traveling with M/V Starlite Saturn soon!;)