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Superferry 19:The new generation ship
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: -
Date: 2004-07-13
Each SuperFerry is unique – some with grandiose design and elaborate interior, others Zen-like and tranquil – but all speak of hotel-like class for that cruise-like travel experience.

In its commitment to delight its customers, Aboitiz Transport System Corporation (ATSC) — through its Passage Travel-Leisure Group (PASTRAL) has introduced another breakthrough in the domestic shipping industry through its new generation passenger ships.

SuperFerry (SF) 19, one of the new generation SuperFerry vessels, features modern, classic and artistic appointments and accommodations, and onboard facilities compliant to international shipping and safety standards.

Adding to SF19 new service is the improved food technology and modish food and beverage handling as ATSC brought onboard food expert Markus Gfeller, of the renowned Caspian Concepts, a restaurant management group, which Gfeller co-owns with Filipino Glenn Paul Garcia.

"Markus", as he is popularly known in the restaurant and dining circuit in the country, has a highly reputable track record, in the food and beverage industry.

According to Gfeller, the concept of the Zen-like interior of SuperFerry 19 is a collaboration of the SuperFerry PASTRAL Group, Caspian Concepts and Architect Alfred Wieneke.

"Apparently, the ambiance affects the perception of food, among other things," says Alfred Wieneke – a cum laude from the University of the Philippines, College of Architecture who has nine years of Architectural practice and has extensive exposure in different approaches and aspects in architectural designs and layouts.

"The architecture of the SF 19 is modern and precise. The philosophy behind the new look is transformation instead of adaptation," explained Wieneke.

According to Wieneke, the interior of SF 19 is borne out of the ATSC management’s concept that sought to transform the entire image of the SuperFerry vessels.

"The new look was intended to contribute to the cruise-like experience SuperFerry aims to provide its customers without compromising function and ease of maintenance," he added.

Gfeller, on the other hand, added that artists have adorned SF 19, from the rooms to the dining area, with various paintings that veer toward contemporary art, which matches with the structural design of the ship.

"Budding artists have already decorated the walls of SF 19 – completing the look and ambiance perfect for a tranquil and leisurely travel onboard a passenger vessel," he said.

Having stayed in the Philippines for 10 years now, 35-year-old Gfeller finds it both challenging and exciting, servicing a different kind of market — the passenger public.

"Working onboard SuperFerry opens different opportunities for me to create more concepts in delivering good food. Our goal is to make the passengers happy," Gfeller said.

According to Gfeller, he aims to give customers what they like. "Caspian Concepts is here not to make food fancy – we are here to provide people with what they like. People eat what they know – one cannot turn "nilaga" or "adobo" into something fancy, but it can be made more delicious, and that’s what we’re here for," he added.

Aside from the new cuisine being offered, SuperFerry also offers its passengers a "cashless environment" through the revolutionary Easy Card, a meal card that is used at all dining facilities onboard. The E-Card is reloadable, much like a pre-paid cellphone card, and is refundable, too!

"The amount in the E-Card is equivalent to the paid meals as indicated on each ticket. One may simply upload more cash when desired and refund the remaining balance before they disembark," explains Gfeller.

Aside from safety and security purposes of not having to carry around cash, the E-Card promotes the convenience of not having to line up for meals. "E-Card provides a passenger more choices of viands and much faster service," said Gfeller.

The E-Card may be used at SF 19’s Island Fiesta FoodCourt and other establishments such as the Quickmart, the gaming station E-port, and the popular David’s Salon – new benefit and facilities that can also be found onboard SuperFerry 17 and 18.

Other facilities of SF 19 include a chapel, disco, KTV/videoke, souvenir shop and world-class accommodations, categorized as the special economy, tourist, business and suite classes.

"All these innovations are directed toward one goal – to make travel a leisurely experience for the riding public," Gfeller said.

SuperFerry 19 services ports of Cebu, Cotabato, Iloilo and Zamboanga. For more information, log on to

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