Soaring above the Visayas archipelago by helicopter, cutting through the crystal clear waters of Magellan Bay and the Mactan Channel, or cruising on island roadways in one of BMW’s most advanced machines, guests can now take their pick to arrive in style at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu.
When announcing the acquisition of the new lavish service fleet comprising of a yacht, speedboat, helicopter and luxury sedan, general manager Rene D Egle said, “We are redefining the statement – ‘We have arrived’. We want our guests to experience world-class comfort and sophistication even on transit, whether it is upon touchdown or departure, in a city tour or in an expedition across the islands.”
Leading the portfolio is a gentleman’s yacht, the Celandine, built in aluminum and steel by the oldest leisure marine company in the world, Camper & Nicholsons Shipyard. Originally built in 1960, this vintage vessel is one of only four yachts similarly designed and it has since received multiple awards for its unique heritage and classic aesthetics.
Completely refit in 2013, the Celandine is now equipped with stylish teak decks, a reconfigured saloon, fresh exterior paint and new engines that have logged less than 500 hours. Its twin 180hp Cummins engines give her a cruising speed of 9 knots and a maximum speed of 14 knots. The Celandine’s spacious interiors can house six guests in three cabins with en suite bathrooms.
A second addition to the resort’s maritime collection, the speedboat Rainbow Runner can cruise through the beautiful vistas of the Mactan Channel at a speed of 25 knots. Distinguished for superb performance, it can comfortably shuttle a maximum of 15 passengers per trip. The Rainbow Runner is used for airport transfers, departing from the Cebu Yacht Club to the Shangri-La Boat Jetty and vice-versa. It will also be deployed to transfer guests to Cebu City, significantly reducing travel time.
For guests who prefer to travel by air, zooming across the blue skies is the McDonnell Douglas MD500E helicopter, operated by the Asian Aerospace Corp., the Philippines’ leading private aerial transportation service renowned for serving a high-profile clientele. Powered by Rolls Royce Allison 250-C20R engines, it has a maximum speed of 240 kilometers per hour (almost 150 miles per hour) and boasts an impressive noise-reduced flight, being the only helicopter to use NOTAR (no-tail rotor) technology in the country.
The McDonnell Douglas MD500E is ideal for airport transfers, city transfers and chartered trips to Bohol and Oslob, among many others. In what would normally take three to five hours by car and boat, the MD500E allows adventure seekers to arrive at and enjoy swimming with whale sharks in Oslob or hiking the Chocolate Hills in Bohol in a fraction of the time. The operator has private hangars in prime tourist destinations in the Philippines that guests can visit and enjoy. The interior features a golden oak finish and beige leather seats that can securely seat three passengers.
A BMW 5 Series rounds out the fleet. A luxury sedan prized for its stylish interiors and smooth cruising capability, the 5 Series is part of the new limousine service.