GP Lines Golden Legacy at 50-A A +A
Sunday, October 21, 2012
GEORGE & Peter Lines Inc. marks 50 glorious years in the shipping industry, with every year a golden proof of its unwavering dedication to provide safe, clean and dependable service to travelers and shippers to and from Visayas and Mindanao.
GP Lines’ journey, whose name came from the two incorporators—brothers George Sr. and Peter Chiongbian—is anchored on a family’s dream to offer alternative and convenient passage to Cebuanos. It was the 1960s, and needless to say, people had very limited
options when it came to traveling by sea.
It was on October 22, 1962, when George & Peter Lines Inc. was officially recognized as Cebu’s newest shipping line. It was then Congressman William L. Chiongbian, George Sr. and Peter’s brother, who facilitated the Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval of the GP Lines incorporation. On October 31 of the same year, GP Lines sent out its first two vessels into their maiden voyage to Dumaguete, Larena, Lazi, Plaridel, Iligan, and Tubod. A few years after, they saw the need to increase more
fleets to accommodate the Cebu–Dumaguete–Dipolog and vice versa route.
GP Lines, consistent to its vision of providing better service to the people, continuously found ways to make traveling more convenient for everyone. While other firms held back in establishing new routes or increasing the number of voyages per route to protect investments, the team behind George & Peter ventured out and created one of the biggest in-demand shipping routes during the ’70s, the Cebu–Dumaguete–Zamboanga, a route that it still plies today.
Now, five decades into the shipping business with 120 regular employees, GP Lines is proud of its fleet of reliable and efficient passenger ships and RORO vessels. It remains to be a preferred choice for people who want inexpensive yet safe trips to their three ports of call—Dumaguete, Dapitan/Dipolog, and Zamboanga. George Sr. and Peter’s legacy is now spearheaded entirely by the third generation of George Chiongbian Sr.’s family, with George Chiongbian III as president and chief operations officer. The family matriarch, Felisa Y. Chiongbian, currently sits as chairperson.
Three vessels – Georich, GP Ferry 2 and Zamboanga Ferry - that have a total capacity of 2,169 passengers and currently ply the nautical highways of Dumaguete, Dapitan/Dipolog, and Zamboanga routes.
Travelers may choose among four different accommodations to suit their budget and travel needs: suite room, cabin, tourist, and economy class. The following discounts can be availed upon purchase of GP Lines tickets: If you’re a member of the GP Lines’ Frequent Traveler’s Club, you automatically receive 20 percent off. Students get 15 percent off, while senior citizens and the differently-abled take 20 percent off.
Meanwhile, infants and toddlers until 2 years old travel for free, and a 50 percent discount is offered for children 3–11 years old.
As GP Lines marks another milestone, passengers can expect better service and more improvements in the succeeding years. The launch of GP Ferry 2 in 2011 saw the beginning of greater things to come.
As president and chief operating officer George III shares “As we sail into our 50th year and look forward to more years of continuing the GP Lines legacy, we would like more than ever to thank our passengers and shippers for their patronage. Our gratitude also go out to our greatest resource, our staff for their commitment and loyalty, some of whom have been with the company for more than 30 plus years. Also, as we move toward the next decade of service, we are delighted to inform the public that future plans of the company include acquisition of a new RORO vessel early next year to augment the present Dumaguete, Dapitan and Zamboanga route. Long-term plans also include reviving other routes GP Lines has pioneered in the past. ”
George & Peter Lines is located at the GP Lines Building, Pier 2, corner Arellano Boulevard and V. Gullas Ext and also accepts cargo bookings. Boats depart for Dumaguete and Dapitan every Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and direct to Dapitan every Tuesday and Friday. One may purchase tickets at the following outlets: Jude Ticketing 2/F Colonnade Mall, Skyliner at G/F E-Mall and Mail & More at the G/F Ayala Center Cebu. For more information, one may also visit www.gplines.com or www.facebook.com/gplines.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 22, 2012.