We are now trying to do a world tour without flying, and after a bit more than two years we are facing one of the biggest challenges of our journey, crossing the Pacific. We know there are few opportunities to get a freighter to the US from HK or several cities of China.

As we are currently in the Philippines, the challenge is now to reach HK or China. The latest can easily be done from Taiwan. Any idea (best harbour to look for info, shipping companies name, unexpected new ferry company..) or contact that may help to go from the Philippines to one of the place stated before?

I know a very similar question was already asked, but it was unclear if the asker managed to reach Taiwan or not.

  • 2
    How did you get to the Philippines in the first place? I suspect you may have to retrace that route if you didn't fly.
    – SpaceDog
    Jun 5, 2014 at 4:26
  • 1
    Sarah Outen got from Japan to the US by rowboat and kayak (the latter along the Aleutian island chain). Feb 23, 2015 at 21:57

3 Answers 3


I am an American who was raised and grew up in the northern Philippines. There is a way to travel to Taiwan from Aparri or Santa Ana, both in Cagayan. Santa Ana by RoRo or from Aparri by pump boat. The trip takes a day, rough waters. You travel via the Batanes Islands, maybe a stop in Basco. Fare's about $20.

  • Can you give a bit more information on this? I am interested on doing from Taiwan to the Philippines. :D
    – N3sh
    Feb 2, 2017 at 8:51

I've been trying to answer this for several years and I don't have a definitive answer but here are the options I've come up with and some comments:

Freighter travel, this is covered in the other answer and I have no good leads for who to talk to but it seems the most likely option although it'll be long.

Cruise, some cruises stop by Manila (although you may be just out of season). I can't find a cruise that hasn't already started that will stop by Manila but it's possible a travel agent might be able to find you a spot on a cruise that's already underway but hasn't yet reached here. I'd definitely go to the Star Cruises office (near Resorts World Manila, full address) and ask them, if anyone can help they can.

Private boat/yacht, you could try the Manila Yacht Club on Roxas Boulevard, I know that many private sailors do Manila to Hong Kong and they might be open to passengers if you're prepared to help. I know of no way to find out who's going where other than to turn up at the club and start asking around. Again, you might be just out of season as the rain and the storms have started and many people may not want to travel in that sort of weather.

Ferry, there are rumors that you can get a ferry or private boat from the south of the Philippines (Davao), this page has some numbers you can try but this Yahoo! answer seems to indicate that scheduled services are rare and you might have to try and find a private boat. However, while searching for that, I find news stories saying that a regular(?) service to Indonesia will start June 13 but it looks like it's just cargo. However I suspect if you got here without flying you may have come this route already. Also, for what it's worth, I should point out that the south-west of the islands are generally considered not safe for tourists -- this may be particularly true if you're having to go to small towns to get a ferry (here's the UK government advice). Having said that, I know tourists that have been and I've never heard of it being an issue.

Finally, when I asked this question a few years back on another site they did ask if it would be considered cheating to use a helicopter or hot air balloon (!). Those might be options, I think the mainland might be in helicopter range depending where you start.

I hope that helps, if you do find a way to do it please come back and answer your own question as I'd love to know how you did it.


For future reference, there are races semi-frequently from HK to Subic/Manila. You might be able to help transit back. Checking yacht clubs in both spots is a good start, we had to snag crew from the states leaving PH to go to Taiwan.


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