How to get from Manila to Cebu
There are two main ways to get to Cebu City from Manila.
You can either fly from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Mactan-Cebu International Airport or go by sea.
Technically it is possible to get to Cebu from Manila via a combination of RORO buses and ferries, too, though the journey will be a long and not the most comfortable one.
How far is Cebu from Manila?
The air distance between Manila and Cebu is approximately 570 km.
The sea distance between the Port of Manila and the Port of Cebu is roughly 770 km.
The overland distance via Pan Philippine Hwy/AH 26 or via Western Nautical Hwy is slightly under 900 km.
How long does it take to get from Manila to Cebu?
Flying normally takes between 1 hour 15 minutes and one and a half hour.
The sea voyage is likely to rob you off your whole day of your life, and anyway will not take less than 22 hours.
Similarly, travelling by a combination of land transport and ferries, be ready to spend 30 hours and more.
What means of transport to choose?
Flying is definitely the fastest and the most convenient way to get to Cebu from Manila.
Taking a boat is slow and not necessarily cheap yet it is quite a picturesque way to get to Cebu as you will be sailing past several islands on your way from Luzon to Cebu.
Travelling by bus & ferry is exhausting though may prove slightly cheaper than flying or travelling by boat.
How much does it cost to get from Manila to Cebu?
The airfare for Manila-Cebu route typically ranges between PHP2,500 and PHP9,000.
The sea travel can cost anywhere between PHP2,200 and PHP7,000 depending on the type of the cabin you choose.
A combination ticket for bus and ferry should cost within PHP2,500–PHP5,000 range.
How to get from Manila to Cebu by ferry
There are direct ferries between port of Manila and port of Cebu operated by 2GO vessels. Crossing the ocean is not for the faint-hearted as the sea can be rough.
How long does it take to sail from Manila to Cebu?It normally takes about 22 hours providing the weather is good.
How much do ferry tickets cost?The price varies depending on the type of the cabin. The cheapest options are Tourist Class and Mega Value Class, both priced at about PHP2,200. Though air-conditioned, they are nothing more than spacious rooms you will share with other travellers.
Cabins for 4 or 6 are pricier and cost slightly under PHP3,000.
There are plusher Staterooms and Suitrooms for two from PHP6,500.
When do ships leave Manila for Cebu?There are scheduled departures from Manila to Cebu every day of the week except Tuesday and Saturday.
Note that some ticket classes can be unavailable on certain vessels.
Travelling by ferry – what to expect?On-board facilities may vary depending on the vessel but as a rule vessels feature at least a dining area and a café. Some have salons, karaoke and spa centres.
There are common cabins with bunk beds and private cabins similar to hotel rooms complete with an en-suit toilet and a bathroom.
How to get from Manila to Cebu by bus and ferry
Though technically possible, travelling from Manila to Cebu by bus and ferry is time consuming, exhausting and not that cheap hence not recommended. Yet you can consider it – this is the plan of how it works.
How long does a trip take?It takes 22 hours from Cubao terminal in Manila to Ormoc by a RORO bus followed by a two-hour ferry journey from Ormoc to Cebu. A layover may add over 6 hours to your trip. There is only one bus a day from Manila to Ormoc, but four ferry trips a day from Ormoc to Cebu.
Similarly, it is about 14 hours from Cubao to Masbate by a RORO bus with four departures a day, and the same 14 hours from Masbate to Cebu by ferry, but there is only one scheduled departure a week.
How much does it cost?Travelling via Ormoc is the most budget-friendly way. A bus ticket should cost about PHP1,800, a ferry ticket – under PHP800.
A bus to Masbate is about PHP1,300 and you can get ferry tickets to Cebu from Masbate for as low as PHP1,000 (and up to PHP3,700).
How to get from Manila to Cebu by plane
Manila–Cebu is one of the most popular routes in the Philippines served by over two dozens of daily flights.