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Spending a whole month in the Philippines has been one of the best experiences of our Southeast Asia adventure. Did you know that there are over 7,000 islands in the Philippines? Yes, 30 days in the Philippines is not long enough and there’s still so much of it that we want to explore. Two of the most popular and easily accessible islands are Cebu and Bohol. Typically, you can fly into Cebu city from Manila and then make your way over to Bohol via a ferry. I will cover everything that you need to know about Cebu to Bohol ferry trip.
Bohol is a beautiful island located in the center of the Philippines and it’s close to Cebu island. Home to picturesque beaches, the famous chocolate hills, and the cutest little tarsiers, Bohol is a tourist hot spot. If you’re planning a trip to the Philippines, Bohol should definitely be on your itinerary.
1. You Can Book Your Cebu To Bohol Ferry Ticket Directly At The Port
If you have already done a little research, you will find that just about everybody advices not to try to book ferry tickets in advance. Many travellers who have booked in advance run into problems at the port when they try to explain that they have an email booking. They’re often told that there is no proof or confirmation of booking.
The good news is that you can simply turn up at the port and book the next ferry to Bohol Island. There is absolutely no reason to book in advance – and, in fact, it’s probably best not to. There are several companies operating regular Cebu to Bohol ferry trips, so you won’t have to wait long. I think we waited for about an hour.
2. There Are Two Gateways To Enter Bohol From Cebu
When booking your Cebu to Bohol ferry ticket, keep in mind that there are two routes to choose from; Tagbilaran and Tubigon. Tagbilaran is the most popular route and because it serves as a hub city, and is the one that most travellers will be travelling to, this is the one that I will be highlighting.
Another thing to note is that there are five different piers at the Cebu port. Typically, different ferry companies operate from different ports. Most travellers make their way over to pier one, which is where the most regular Cebu to Bohol ferry trips are made from.
3. There Are Several Different Ferry Operators
Yes, there are several different ferry operators to choose from. The most popular are Ocean Fast Ferries, Supercat Fast Ferry, and Oceanjet Ferry. We used Ocean Jet and it was a perfectly efficient, safe, and comfortable experience. Nothing luxurious – just a comfortable seat – all you need really. There are drinks and snacks sold onboard (much like on an airplane), but it is VERY expensive. Seriously, they charge more than most resorts for drinks. I advise packing your own snacks for the journey.
While there are various different ferries to choose from, they all offer pretty much the same thing. I wouldn’t put much thought into which one to go with. Ultimately, all you want is a safe and efficient way to travel to Bohol, and this is what they all offer.
4. Choose the speedy option
Fast ferries take two hours to travel from Cebu port to Tagbilaran. Supercat Fast and Ocean Jet travel this route regularly. OceanJet departs from Cebu pier one and Supercat departs from Cebu’s pier four.
The trip from Cebu to Tubigon is about 30 minutes shorter than the Tagbilaran route. The fast ferries for this route departs from Cebu’s Pier three. Travellers heading over to Tubigoncan book tickets on board MV Sea Jet and MV Starcraft.
Fast ferries offer a high speed passenger service. They have a cruising speed of approximately 50 kilometers per hour, and when you are on board, these boats resemble aircraft. They include a safety instruction video just before departure. Fast ferry ticket prices are about three times the cost of regular tickets, but it’s definitely worth the decrease in travel time.
5. Ticket price for Cebu to Bohol Ferry Trip
Typically, tickets prices are divided into three categories; Business Class, Tourist class (with aircon), and Economy (with no aircon). If you’ve tried to research Cebu to Bohol ferry prices you’ve probably come across a lot of different answers. I’m not sure if ticket prices are seasonal or if different companies have vastly different costs (unlikely).
Here are the prices based on our experience. We booked a tourist class ticket (with aircon) on Oceanjet and it cost 550 php. It only cost 50 php more than the section without aircon. The business class ticket would have cost us 1,000 php. Based on my research, you can expect to pay somewhere between 450 and 800 php for a standard ticket from Cebu to Bohol.
6. There Is An Additional Terminal Fee
In addition to the cost of the Cebu to Bohol ferry ticket, you will also need to pay a 25 php terminal fee per person. It’s completely separate to the ticket fee and is payable as you enter the terminal building. It’s easy to miss, so make sure that you don’t proceed to security until you have paid your terminal fee. There is a small sign that will direct you to the terminal fee counter.
There are terminal fees that are payable throughout the Philippines – even at airports. We were surprised by an 800 php terminal fee that we had to pay when flying out of the country from Cebu International airport. So yes terminal fees are payable everywhere across the country.
7. There Is An Additional Fee For Baggage
There is a security check and waiting area at all ports – just like at airports. Once you have paid your terminal fee you will proceed through security the security check where your bags will be put through the security scanner. From there you can head over to the baggage counter. This part is a little chaotic.
But basically you need to pay for you baggage at the counter, and then a porter will come over and tag your bag. From this point on your baggage is in the hands of the porter. It might be a little worrying because all the baggage just stands there waiting for someone to transport it onto the ferry. Thankfully it all went very smoothly for us and we didn’t have any problems. Once you reach Bohol, all the luggage is placed on the ledge next to the ferry (where you disembark), and you can simply pick up your bags as you leave.
The baggage fee varies according to the size of your bag. We had THE biggest bags and paid about 100 php for each bag. Typically it only costs about 50 php, but be prepared to pay more if you have large bags. As for small bags, you can usually take them onboard with you. There is a section at the front of the ferry where a few small bags can be stored.
8. The Ferry Schedule
There are a lot of ferry schedules available so I won’t include my own one here. Also, different ferry companies have different schedules so it gets a little complex. Ocean Jet offers 14 daily trips from Cebu to Bohol (Tagbilaran). The first trip of the day is at 05:10 am and the last trip leaves Bohol at 18:40 pm.
Tagbilaran to Cebu city has a very similar schedule with just a few minutes difference. The first trip out of Tagbilaran is at 06:00 and the last trip of the day is at 18:30 pm. However, keep in mind that delays do occur, so schedules are likely to fluctuate during the day. Throughout our travelling and ferry trips in the Philippines, the longest delay that we had was about 30 minutes. But our Cebu to Bohol ferry ran according to schedule.
9. Travel Once You Reach Tagbilaran
Once you arrive at Tagbilaran port, there are both taxis and tricycles waiting for passengers. A tricycle ride to Alona beach on Panglao island will cost you around 300 php, while a taxi is likely to cost about 700 php. These prices are always negotiable. We usually use the Grab taxi service but there is no Grab in Bohol, so you will need to use the taxis that are available. The Jeepneys are also an option and they work quite well. However, it won’t be that easy to travel on a Jeepney with a lot of luggage. So if your main concern is to make it to your accommodation as quickly and conveniently as possible, a taxi or tricycle will be a much better option.
What To Do In Bohol?
Bohol is full of beautiful places to see and exciting activities to do. From the beautiful Panglao island beaches to visiting the picturesque Chocolate Hills and spending a sunny afternoon on the Loboc river, Bohol is an exciting island to visit. If your time is limited, you may want to check out the Bohol tour options that are available. This is a great way to explore the island in a short amount of time.
But Bohol isn’t the only island that is easily accessible from Cebu. There are a few other islands that you easily reach from Cebu.
Philippines Visa Requirements
If you’re planning a trip to the Philippines and need help with visa information, I would suggest checking out iVisa.com. The visa process can be very time-consuming, not to mention confusing. iVisa strive to make the whole process simpler for travellers by taking care of all the nitty gritty details.
Just follow my iVisa application link here and you can do a quick check to see what is required and proceed with an application if necessary.
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