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Ferry from Cebu to Bohol – The best way to reach Tagbilaran

A trip to Philippines is incomplete without a visit to the picturesque and beautiful island of Bohol. Located just 2 hours from Cebu City, this unique island is a must visit on your itinerary for Philippines.

Chocolate-Hills- Bohol-Philippines

There are many things to visit and activities to be done on this island; this article will cover our journey from Cebu to Bohol.

For tips to save a lot of pesos and activities to do in Bohol do read this article - Plan your own Bohol Tour - The Island of Tarsiers and Chocolate Hills

Best way to travel from Cebu to Bohol

The most convenient way to reach from Cebu city to Tagbilaran is using a fast ferry boat service.  There are at least 5 companies which provide fast ferry service at almost the same price. We did both our journeys with a company called Ocean Jet. Ocean Jet had more time slots and even late evening ferries for return as compared to other services. You can refer to this link for more details into the timings and service providers.

Booking your ferry from Cebu to Tagbilaran, Bohol

We booked our ferry directly at the terminal. Even though it was a peak tourist season with Chinese New Year we did get tickets on the same day itself.

The other option is to book online or through an agent. Many of the reviews I came across about the service providers for online booking were not positive. An agent would usually charge a mark-up; unless you are very restricted with time you should avoid an advance booking, the risk of cancellation of a ferry at that particular time and missing your ferry due to delay in traffic or flight is always there.

The view of the Port of Tagbilaran
Make sure you carry an identity proof with you for making the booking; a Xerox copy of your passport or soft copy of your passport should suffice to make the booking (We presented soft copies of our passports for making the booking, as we were not aware about this requirement)

There are 3 seating options available with Ocean Jet:

Open Air Economy seat - PHP 450 per person
The seating is upstairs; the seats are cramped with no leg space, no air-conditioning, so not advised in hot weather or late evening and if you buy these seats do request for the first row during check-in.

Tourist class seat – PHP 500 per person
The seating is downstairs with air-conditioning, better leg space and do request for the 1st row for extra leg space. They switch on the ACs at full so make sure you have a jacket or a blanket along for the journey.

Business class - PHP 1000 per person
Reclining seats with extra leg space and again Air Conditioning is very cold and you can carry one piece of medium sized baggage on Board.

Infants travel for free on all seating options.

Purchasing the ticket at counter is quick and simple, just show your ID pay the money and proceed to the terminal for boarding. For Ocean Jet the boarding was from Pier 1.

Regardless of the class of ticket there is a huge issue of unavailability of water in these boats especially after the morning slots. So make sure you free yourself at the terminal or carry some wet wipes or water along, especially when traveling with kids.

Terminal at Cebu

The terminal is huge with plenty of sitting area. There is a coffee shop called Tyke’s cafe on the upper floor and also a small outlet on the lower floor again selling coffee and snacks. We tried a couple of coffees from Tyke and they were good to taste and reasonable in price.
Ferry Terminal at Cebu

Terminal fee

You have to pay an extra 25 PHP per person in Cebu while departing and an extra 20 PHP per person in Bohol on return. This is a mandatory fee without which they will not allow you to board.

Check in process

Make sure you do this process ASAP so you get a choice of seats and seats together with your family. Try requesting for rows with extra leg space.

Empowering the disabled

The best thing about this terminal was the way local authorities are empowering the disabled, while you are waiting for your ferry there is a band of blind people who are playing songs and also there is a group of disabled people who offer a professional neck and shoulder massage for just 80-100 PHP, depending on the time you choose.

I highly appreciate their enthusiasm and passion to make a honest living. In fact this could be a great case study for other tourist destinations to empower the disabled in their community as well.

Terminal at Tagbilaran, Bohol

This is a smaller terminal as compared to Cebu terminal, while you are waiting the seats are very less and if there are 3-4 ferries expected to leave around the same time you might not get a seat while waiting at the terminal. The waiting area has poor air-conditioning. The ferries are usually late; ours was more than an hour late while returning, so if you plan to board a flight directly consider the delays. The check-in terminal is just near the entrance. There is a small shop serving refreshments, the cold coffee available there was really good. There was no water in the washrooms, same issue with the ferries. If they are charging a terminal fee they must ensure water is always available for tourists.

Key things to remember:

  • Booking direct is more convenient
  • Copy of Passport or ID is required to make a booking
  • Request for seats in front for extra leg space
  • Tourist class is a good option to travel and save money
  • Support the disabled individuals at Cebu terminal
  • Carry wet wipes, blankets and water on this journey 
Do check my blog post on planning your own Bohol tour and sites to visit in Bohol.

If you have any queries or suggestions please leave a message below, you can also email me on

Please follow me on Instagram @vegyatri for more updates.


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