I haven’t added this ferry trip to my World Borders Series as it’s really just a straight forward internal ferry within the Philippines, but I thought it was a good post to write about given that most visitors to Panglao and Bohol will arrive by ferry. Yes there is an airport in Tagbilaran, but I haven’t heard of other backpackers ever using it. So here’s a guide to getting the Cebu to Bohol ferry in the Philippines.
How to get from Cebu City to Tagbilaran, Bohol Island
The Philippines is a massive archipelago. A word I often love yet do not always comprehend or understand. However once you are in the Philippines it becomes obvious why the word archipelago is used and what it means. A ongoing series of islands. So you will do a lot of boat hopping when you are there. I arrived into the City of Cebu by air from Hong Kong and didn’t want to stay the night in Cebu as we were heading to explore Bohol and Panglao. So the plan was hatched to spend a few hours at the ferry terminal and get the first ferry of the morning to Tagbilaran on Bohol island.
Getting from Cebu International Airport to Cebu Ferry Terminal
At night (when we arrived) the quickest and safest way is by taxi. Bargain the taxi drivers down – they rip you off to fuck, so you need to say no to the first few drivers until they get the message you are an experienced traveller and won’t pay over the odds. Then hop in and head to the ferry terminal. Don’t pay more than 60 Pesos. Now, there are quite a few ferry terminals in Cebu so it’s important you go to the ferry terminal that has ferries to Bohol (or Tagbilaran – the capital city of Bohol). Ask the taxi driver to take you to that one, or research online first. For us it was ferry terminal number 4.
How to book a ferry from Cebu City to Bohol
Don’t book in advance – in true Philippines style if you try to do this they may even tell you that you have a booking by e-mail then when you turn up they might say you don’t. You don’t need to book it in advance – just turn up at the ferry terminal and book the next ferry to Tagbilaran, Bohol Island. In the worst case scenario that the ferry is full – there are a load of companies running regular ferries so you won’t have to wait long. We booked our trip across with the Supercat and came back using Ocean Fast Ferries. There is also the Weesam Express.
What Company to Use for the Ferry from Cebu to Bohol?
There are a few and we used The Supercat Fast Ferry which was smooth, efficient, safe and comfortable. All you want really! No frills. Bring on your own food, sleep or head into iPod land and savour the views. The other companies are Weesam Express and Ocean Fast Ferries (which we used on the way back).
How much does the ferry from Cebu to Bohol cost?
Our single ferry across from Cebu to Tagbilaran in Bohol cost 535 Philippine Pesos. This is broken down into various parts, including tax and insurance. It changes depending on time of sailing, time of year and the company you use.
When do the ferries from Cebu City to Bohol operate?
Countless times daily and regularly. I could post a timetable for you, but this will be subject to change. They normally start around 7am and run to 6pm so bear that in mind, check here for updates: Ferries and Flights to Bohol.
How long does the ferry from Cebu to Bohol take?
Around two hours is a decent estimate. It’s a pleasant enjoyable ride. I used to work on ferries and love them, I was in awe of it and will never complain about time delays on ferries, as I was once part of the job working on them. A career you might actually want to pursue if you travel, here’s a decent book on it: travel and work on cruise ships. You get an allocated seat and can relax. Bring your own food and drink of course to save money.
What happens when you arrive into Tagbilaran on Bohol Island?
In short, on arrival into Tagbilaran you will be absolutely BOMBARDED by local taxi drivers and tour companies offering to take you on a tour of the island and nearby attractions. If you’re not on a budget, by all means take them up on their offers, BUT seriously just shop around and bargain to hell with these dudes until you get a decent price.
They will be more than happy to show you all the attractions, take you to your hostel/hotel and talk away to you on your trip. Remember, the local people in the Philippines are among the nicest people in the world to talk to, but they also know what it means to make a profit so they won’t hesistate to overcharge unsuspecting tourists. Keep that in mind and you’re now on the gorgeous island of Bohol!!
A few tips on what to see and do in Bohol:
Like most journeys on my travels, this was also a wonderful one, enjoy it! My videos from getting the Cebu to Bohol ferry: