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Taking the Ferry from Manila to Boracay – Philippines Travel

Our first destination out of Manila was Boracay, Kelly had made it very clear to me she wanted to see some beach. While a lot of people choose to fly from Manila to Boracay we opted for the cheaper option of the ferry. To be precise, we took the very budget option of “Super Value Class”  which turned out to be a huge 200 bed floating dorm room.

Manila to Batanagas – Bus

The first part of the journey was by bus from Manila to Batangas. This 2 hour journey was typical of a bus ride in the Philippines; it was crowded and stopped regularly for passengers while snack vendors hopped on and off every time the bus came to a stop.

Batangas to Caticlan – Ferry

The ferry itself is an overnight from Batangas to the port of Caticlan run by 2GO travel. Our ticket for the ferry stated we had to arrive at least 4 hours before the 9pm set off time. This seemed a little long but we didn’t really have anything better to do in Manila so headed down to Batangas pretty early.  The ferry terminal was full of food stalls to keep us happy until boarding time.  Getting on the ferry was a bit of a challenge in itself. We were separated into lines of male and female and told to put our bags in line next to us and patted down by security. It was dark and there was a man in uniform shouting instructions at us through a megaphone, It felt a little like I was joining the military or going to prison. A few minutes later the star of this show turned up; a black Labrador sniffing all our gear for drugs. With no illegal substances found (not that there was any there), we boarded the ferry.

manila to boracay ferry
Making the bed on the journey from Manila to Boracay

The ferry is equipped with everything you might need, including a shop, restaurant and even a bar where passengers sung karaoke well into the night. Our “Super Value Class” was simply an enormous ship deck filled with rows upon rows of metal bunk beds. The beds had plastic gym-mat style mattresses which were surprisingly comfortable when you added the pillow case and sheet available for a small fee. Most people within this area had drifted off to sleep by 11pm, which is probably a good idea because we needed to wake up at 5am to disembark at 6. However, it is a bit difficult to fall asleep on a giant ship in the middle of the ocean when someone starts singing “My Heart Will Go On” at karaoke and you start getting Titanic flashbacks. However, after a while the rocking motion of the ship gently lulled us into a deep slumber.

Caticlan to Boracay – Boat

Boracay Boat
The Boat to Boracay

Once you arrive in Caticlan you are directed to a path to the boats which sail to Boracay.  Buying the boat ticket here is unnecessarily confusing. There are 3 tickets windows and you have to visit all 3. The first is the ticket, the second an environmental fee and the third  the ferry terminal fee. You then have to head over to a desk to fill in what appears to be a questionnaire  (where do you come from etc). After all that you can jump on the boat for the very short 10 minute crossing to Boracay.

Finally in Boracay!
Finally in Boracay!

How would you get from Manila to Boracay?

All in all we were pretty happy with our decision to take the ferry from Manila to Boracay rather than fly, although we are really not on any deadlines.  The ferry not only saved us money on flights but was also accommodation for one night.

About Lee Carter

Born and raised in Accrington, UK, Lee has ventured far beyond his hometown, traveling throughout Europe, Southeast Asia, North America and New Zealand. He is the co-founder of Global Goose and as well as writing the occasional rant he can be found tweaking the code and taking photos of amazing things around the world. Lee and Kelly are currently backpacking around Southeast Asia and they have no plans to stop their "Gap Decade" anytime soon.

19 comments

  1. sounds good..thanks for teh sharing bec teh flights return form manila are manic…about 140 euros..thats 25% of my multi flight tickets from europe to manila via bangkok and back to europe….whereeeeeeee do teh philippine airlines get their fare from!?…salamat!

  2. The bus through Manila and arriving 4 hours before departure is not for me. Sounds you like you enjoyed the journey tho 😉

  3. Hi, I am organizing my trip to Manila and Boracay, and you don’t might, could you give me the prices of each transportation you took to go to Boracay from Manila? And where did you take the bus to Batanagas?
    Thank you

  4. how much the cost of ferry to boracay??? I am planning to go in april. taking ferry to boracay.

  5. Hahaha good one thanks for the info

  6. hahaha nice one but its much better if you put the prices of each ride you took for other people who like to go to

  7. Hey i just wanted to add some extra info on Manila city to Boracay Island.
    Firstly the ferry ticket from *Manila (Batangas) to Boracay (Caticlan) we booked in advanced it cost around 991php per person book onhttp://travel.2go.com.ph/index.asp .
    Then once you have your ticket printed and other documents needed you can take the bus from Buendia station. Busses come every 20 mins, so you can just jump on a bus and pay half way which will cost around 133php.when you arrive at Batigas port you will walk straight to the check in terminals (you will need to be 4hrs early) show your tickets and documents then go to the waiting room, there are food stalls selling noodles, pizza and a 7/11 down stairs. the Ferry will board 8:50 and separate women from men and body check them and use a sniffer dog on your bags. once your on the ferry you will directed to your bed if you would like you can upgrade to a private room, next you will be be served dinner and a breakfast (included with your ticket) as the food tastes like cat food i suggest to bring some snacks. you will arrive at Caticlan around 8-10 am as the ferry may be delayed and once you get off the boat you will need to buy tickets (tourists will need to pay for Environmental fee,Terminal fee and the ticket to Boracay in total this will cost 200php) and fall into line to get the boat to Boracay which will take around 10-15 minutes.

    • You said that man and women need to be separated,we are family.still need to be separated?and how much total cost from manila to boracay?thank you.

      • It is only being separated for inspection/ line but through out the ferry, you can be together with your friends, family. I would recommend this kind of transportation as it is cheap compare to airlines. but you have to deal with this kind of transpo, not that bad. but its average. of course, thats what your paying.an estimate of 50 dollars per person.. from manila-boracay.

    • Thanks for this info..
      Very helpful ☺
      You say what it is in the phillipines 👍
      More people dont care…always say everything is good.

  8. Hi guys! Thank you so much for sharing this information. Im thinking to catch the ferry at the beginning of november this year. Just wanted to ask you if it would be safe for a solo female travelling on the super saver or tourist option?

  9. how about from caticlan boracay going back to batangas was it easy to get a ferry?

  10. Wow this sounds like quite an experience! The much more hardened traveller way to go for sure! Just for information, thankfully there a now many more budget flight options available to Caticlan (closest airport to Boracay over Kalibo) including 6 daily direct flights from Manila by Cebu Pacific and 4 by Philippines Airlines, though they’re more expensive than Cebu Pacific! Just for your readers information! 😉

    • yeah. Philippine airlines is quite expensive than cebu pacific. But also be informed that peak seasons are usually summertime around april-may.

  11. I went over this site and I think you have a lot of great info,
    saved to bookmarks (:.

    • I suggest that you try some kind of transpo, not usual if you like some experience. but if you like to be on easy mode. suggest you take an airplane..

  12. Could i take my own car on that Ferry?

  13. Can i ask how bout from boracay to manila is it same way back?
    Were planning to go by january with my family ..
    Thank you also for big help information we get .
    God Bless you 😘

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