The major means of transportation that connect Cebu City from Manila are airplanes and ships. Flying is obviously the fastest and the most convenient way to travel with several airlines serving the route daily. Sea travel is the slowest option but surprisingly, it is not necessarily the cheapest one.
The flying distance from Cebu from Manila is roughly 570 km. Flight time is varies between 1 hour 15 minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes.
The Port of Cebu is situated approximately 770 km away from the Port of Manila. This means that if you are getting there by sea, you will need to calculate at least 22 hours.
The decision on whether to fly or to cross the sea is hugely dependent on your travel preferences rather than financial capacity. After all, you can fly for as little as PHP1,500 while the cheapest accommodation on a ship will set you back around PHP1,300. It is definitely not a big difference in price but a vast difference in terms of comfort and convenience – not mentioning the time spent, of course!
Ferry from Cebu to Manila
Sea vessels that cross the sea between Cebu and Manila offer several accommodation types that cost between PHP1,300 and PHP3,800. The lowest fare buys you a berth is a common room with an access to the shared bathroom, while the plushest options are private rooms with en-suit bathrooms.
Sea voyage can be quite arduous especially if you are not used to traveling in a slow-moving ship. Getting to Manila from Cebu may last up to 22 hours. You can either make an adventure out of it or sleep it off. And yes, if you are prone to sea sickness, come prepared and have the necessary medicine at hand.
Note! 2GO sails from Cebu to Manila on TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY and SUNDAY.
Ships bound for Manila depart several times a week. On Tuesdays and Fridays, St. Pope John Paul II leaves the pier at 11.59am and 9.30pm respectively. St. Leo The Great departs the port every Wednesday at 10pm and Sunday at 1.30pm. Meanwhile, Saint Francis Xavier sails off for Manila every Saturday at 8pm.
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 air-conditioned areas and open areas..
Flights from Cebu to Manila
Flying has never been more affordable, especially when traveling between Cebu and Manila. There is a myriad of seats available from PHP1,500 to PHP5,200. The closer the date of your flight to the major Philippine holidays like Christmas, New Year's Eve, Holy Week, and All Saint's Day, the more air ticket prices tend to rise. As always, booking early secures you the lowest rate.
Several airlines have daily flights from Cebu to Manila. The most economical carriers are 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 allowance or any other add-ons like meals or insurance.
Philippine Airlines may be a bit on the pricier side but not too much. The good thing about the national flag carrier is that their tickets are already inclusive of a minimum 10-kilogram luggage allowance and a light snack.
Regardless the airline you fly with, the flying time can differ not more than within a 15 minute range. Cebu Pacific specifies their flight time to be between one hour 15 minutes and one hour 30 minutes. Philippine Airlines indicate 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes while Air Asia estimates their flight time to be around 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes.