Embarking on the Coron to Manila ferry was overall an exciting and new experience, but there are several tips I wish someone had told me before the journey.
The boat company 2Go Travel Ferry is the best way to travel from Manila to Coron, but I wish I had been more prepared and known what to expect before our trip. (Spoiler--like about being separated from my husband and drug-sniffing dogs!).
Whether you're headed to Manila or taking the Coron route, these 9 ferry tips will help when planning your trip to the Philippines.
Table of Contents
- 🛳️ Consider the Convenience and Price
- 🗓️ Book your Coron to Manila Ferry Trip Well in Advance
- 🛏️ Choose Your Room Carefully
- 🛂 Don't Forget a Copy of Your Passport
- 🧘 Be Patient When Waiting for the Ferry
- 👮 Brace Yourself for an Intense Boarding Process at Coron Port
- 🛌 Enjoy your Room and Rest
- 🥨 Bring Snacks, Especially if You're a Vegetarian
- 🌅 Prepare for an Early Morning
- 🏝️ Don't Forget to Tour Coron Before You Go
- 💭 FAQ
🛳️ Consider the Convenience and Price
We went back and forth on which way to go. But flights from Puerto Princesa to Manila can be expensive.
There is no real airport in Coron Palawan that will take you to Manila. The closest is Busuanga Airport, which is about 45 minutes away from Coron.
The most convenient way to get from Manila to Coron (or, in my case, vice versa) is the 2Go Travel Ferry. We also looked into the Atienza ferry, but the accommodations weren't nearly as nice as 2 Go Travel.
The journey by ferry from Manila to Coron takes around 12 hours, depending on the weather, and is an overnight trip.
If you splurge a little, you can stay super comfortably and sleep while you travel since you will arrive at your destination in the early morning!
🗓️ Book your Coron to Manila Ferry Trip Well in Advance
A critical note about the 2Go Ferry is that you must book it far in advance and plan your trip around the Coron ferry schedule. This is especially important during peak season (summers and holidays), or if you want a private room. Private rooms often sell out.
The boat is not daily and at the time we booked, it only came once a week on average. We booked our room 3-4 months before leaving for the Philippines.
More recently, the 2GO Ferry operates 2 times per week between Coron and Manila. Schedules are subject to change, but generally, the ferry departs from Coron every Monday and Thursday and arrives in Manila the following day.
🛏️ Choose Your Room Carefully
Your 2Go ferry ticket price will vary depending on the type of accommodation you choose.
The cheapest options are the Super Value Class & Mega Value. They have bunk bed-style shared accommodations, super close together. No privacy, but very affordable.
We personally #yolo'd it and stayed in their best room, the Suite Room. It had a private spacious room with two double beds and its own restroom. In my experience, it was worth every penny!
All of the room options except for the State Room and the Suite Room are shared with strangers. I don't really enjoy hostels or sleeping with strangers around me, so the Suite Room made sense for us.
We also knew we wanted quality sleep that night.
Even staying in the nicest room, the price was a great value compared to a flight from Puerto Princesa to Manila, which would have cost us over $200/USD.
🛂 Don't Forget a Copy of Your Passport
An important note is that you will need to bring a copy of your passport to give to the check-in counter once you're on the boat. The Ferry staff will keep it, so you need a paper copy.
Before you board, you will also need to present a valid ID, your printed ticket, and depending on current travel restrictions, proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before the departure.
🧘 Be Patient When Waiting for the Ferry
Ferry trips are like regular flights: you must be prepared to wait a long time. The boat was 2 ½ hours late to arrive, and it took another 30 minutes to be ready for us to board.
After spending several days exploring the island of Coron, we were already exhausted before this process started.
I'm sorry that have no pictures besides the above photo to show you of this experience. I was hot and sweaty, and the interior waiting area was crowded without air conditioning.
I kind of assumed we would be boarded similarly to how you board a plane, with the "First Class" people being ushered in first. Nope, that's different from how 2Go does it!
How naive I was.
👮 Brace Yourself for an Intense Boarding Process at Coron Port
When it was time to board, it was a free-for-all for whoever could make it to the loading area the fastest.
Once every passenger arrived, we were asked to put our bags in front of us and line up in a single file line. Then we had to stand there for about 45 minutes while drug-sniffing dogs had the chance to sniff all our bags.
We were then lined up by gender, and the women were allowed to board first. It was a pretty scary experience, honestly.
The military and their German Shepherds were not there to play games, and we were not expecting this. So consider this a heads-up that it may be uncomfortable.
Once on the boat, I waited in the lobby area for my husband. At least there was air conditioning on the ship!
🛌 Enjoy your Room and Rest
By the time we finally arrived on the Coron to Manila ferry, we were both exhausted, and the lovely State Room was a breath of fresh air.
The room itself exceeded our expectations. We had plenty of room for our belongings, and there was a small table to eat at.
We were pleasantly surprised that we didn't hear a peep from anyone, and the bed was clean and comfortable.
We also had a private bathroom, which came with hotel-like amenities of single-use shampoo and conditioner.
There's a small window so you can finally look out at the beautiful scenery and turquoise waters. We watched the sunset from our porthole, and it was quite romantic!
The one thing you have to remember, though, is that it's a moving boat. It's not a terrible motion, but you can still feel the boat's movement the entire trip. I was prepared with motion sickness wristbands, which saved my life!
After we dropped off our stuff, we walked around a bit but didn't take any photos (sorry!). There's a ton of cool stuff on the ferry, but since it's an overnight boat ride, we didn't use any.
For instance, if you happen to need a haircut, there's a salon on board to help you with that. There's also a charging station and a mess hall where you can buy hot food.
🥨 Bring Snacks, Especially if You're a Vegetarian
If you have dietary restrictions, keep in mind that I saw literally nothing vegetarian being offered. That's common in the Philippine Islands.
No matter what, I recommend bringing snacks, water, and entertainment to keep yourself occupied while waiting to board the ferry.
🌅 Prepare for an Early Morning
The next morning, we docked in Manila at 6 AM, right as the sun was coming up. We woke up early to collect our luggage and proceed to the exit.
Then we were off to explore Manila before our flight back to Taipei. Despite the setbacks, the 2Go Travel Ferry is the best option when traveling from Manila to Coron, and I'd definitely do it again!
🏝️ Don't Forget to Tour Coron Before You Go
One bonus tip--before you head onto the ferry, make the most of your time on the island. We loved this Island Hopping Tour and discovering the beautiful cluster of islands that make Coron a must-visit destination.
Make sure you see this other post I wrote on the best place to stay in Coron. Click it, and thank me later; it's worth every penny.
The ferry travel time for the Manilla to Coron ferry is around 11-13 hours. Our trip took 12 hours. It depends on the weather conditions and other factors.
Yes, there are daily flights from Manila to Coron. This may be the fastest option, but direct flight tickets can get pricey. The flight time is about one hour. Coron's closest airport is Busuanga, about 45 minutes away from Coron Islands.
You can check out the Manila airport flight schedule for ticket prices.
After researching flight options, we found the ferry service the most comfortable and cheapest way to travel to Manila North Harbour pier.
I hope these tips help make your Coron to Manila ferry voyage a smooth and enjoyable trip!