The two major means of transportation that connect Cebu City to Manila are airplanes and ships.
Travelling by a combination of ferries and RORO buses though technically possible, is not recommended due to the long travel time and inconvenience.
What is the distance between Cebu and Manila?
As the crow flies, it is only 570 km between Cebu and Manila.
Ships cover 770 km to complete their journey.
Overland distance is about 900 km, partly covered by bus and partly – by ferry.
What is the travel time between Cebu and Manila?
Travelling from Cebu to Manila can take as little as one hour and a half to as long as 30 hours and up.
Going by plane is obviously the fastest and most comfortable way (under 90 minutes). Ferries need at least 22 hours to bring you back to the capital while a combination of a ferry and a bus takes even longer due to the necessary layover which will rob you off several hours at best – expect to spend 30-32 hours.
How much do Cebu–Manila tickets cost?
Whichever means of transport you choose, you are unlikely to spend less then PHP2,200 with PHP3,000-4,000 being a more realistic figure.
Airfare ranges between PHP2,500 and PHP9,000; ferry tickets can cost PHP2,200-PHP7,000; and even the backpacker-style ferry & bus trip will set you back no less than PHP2,500 – and up to PHP5,000.
How to get from Cebu to Manila by ferry
Sea vessels that cross the sea between Cebu and Manila are huge vessels accommodating over 2,000 passengers. They offer different types of cabins and a choice of on-board facilities. In general, it is a comfortable though somewhat boring journey – unless you are a buff of seascapes.
How long does a sea journey from Cebu to Manila last?Getting to Manila from Cebu by ferry will take no less than 22 hours. You can either make an adventure out of it or sleep it off.
What is the fare for Cebu-Manila ferry tickets?The cheapest tickets for Tourist or Mega Value Class with bunk beds in a spacious shared room cost from PHP2,200.
Tickets for more comfortable and private 4-6 passenger cabins are sold at about PHP3,000.
Staterooms and Suitrooms for two, complete with an en-suit toilet and bathroom and resembling more a hotel room than a cabin, will set you back from PHP6,500 and up.
What is the vessels’ schedule for Cebu-Manila route?There are no departures on Monday and Thursday.
On other days of the week there are both morning, afternoon and evening departures of 2GO vessels. The schedule changes depending on the season and sometimes every month.
Ferry travel tipsIf you are prone to seasickness, come prepared and have the necessary medicine at hand.
Depending on the vessel, you can expect facilities like the reception and dining areas, convenience stores, charging stations, cafes, salons, spas, and even a karaoke room. There are both air-conditioned areas and open areas.
How to get from Cebu to Manila by ferry and bus?
Though time consuming and not necessarily cheap, it is possible to take a ferry from Cebu to Masbate or Ormoc and then change for a bus to complete your journey to Manila overland with a couple of RORO stretches.
How long does it take to get to Manila by ferry & bus?Expect to spend 30 hours or more due to layovers.
How much will the ferry & bus trip cost?Be ready to pay from PHP2,500 to PHP5,000 for a ferry and a bus ticket.
Tips for a combination sea & land travel to ManilaThere may not be many departures for the route you need. E.g. the ferry from Cebu to Masbate is operated by Cokaliong Shipping and departs once a week on Friday though once in Masbate there are four RORO bus departures daily.
Similarly, if travelling via Ormoc, there are four ferries from Cebu to Ormoc a day, but only one daily bus to Manila from Ormoc.
In Manila, buses normally arrive to Cubao bus terminal.
How to get from Cebu to Manila by plane
Flying has never been more affordable, especially when traveling between Cebu and Manila. Almost 30 flights operated by three different airlines ply the skies between Cebu and Manila daily.
Which airlines serve Cebu-Manila route?The route is served by two lowcost carries, namely Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. They are your best bet if you are traveling light. Both airlines offer a fly-only alternative without having to pay for luggage or any other add-ons like meals or insurance.
Philippine Airlines may be a bit on the pricier side but their tickets are already inclusive of some checked luggage and a light snack.
How long is the flight?Flying time between Mactan-Cebu International Airport and Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport is 90 minutes.
How much do air tickets cost?The cheapest tickets – PHP2,500-PHP4,000 – can be booked much in advance and during off-season.
The major Philippine holidays like Christmas, New Year's Eve, Holy Week, and All Saint's Day is the busiest time with ticket prices rocketing to PHP7,000-PHP9,000.