These two established ferry operators definitely have some differences between them!
This post will serve as a comparison review giving you insight on how both of these Tioman ferry operators serve between each other!
Whatever your travel priorities are, you can decide for yourself which of these ferry operators will suit your needs best!
Make sure you read this before you decide your Tioman ferry operator!
Firstly, let’s discuss the ferries themselves!
Since the ferry ride to Tioman Island can be a 1.5 to 2 hour journey, comfort and facilities on-board can make a major impact on your trip!
|Ferry Condition||Older ferry||Newer ferry|
|Ferry Seat||Standard only||Standard or Premium|
|Luggage Compartment||Piled at the side away from seats||Overhead-style|
|Charging Station||N/A||At window seats|
|Sun Deck||Depends on the boat you get||Available with purchase of ticket (Standard/ Premium)|
|Mobile signal onboard||None at sea||Connection is possible most of the time|
Another important aspect – how much does each ferry operator charge?
What is the booking process like? Are seat assignments?
Let us tell you now!
|Ticket Price||Fixed at RM35 one-way||Starts from RM5 one-way (depends when you book)|
|Note: Slightly more if you book online (e.g. bank charges, Paypal, etc)|
|Booking Method||-At the counter||-At the counter|
|-Online (tiomanferryticket.com or easybook.com)||-Online (cataferry.com)|
|-All-in-one tour package||-All-in-one tour package|
|Ticket Collection||Few steps needed (e.g. ticket registration, passport validation, boarding pass collection);||Simple one-step process at Tanjung Gemok Jetty counter with booking receipt (if applicable) and passport or MyKad for Malaysians|
|Need to bring passport or MyKad for Malaysians and booking receipt if applicable.|
|Seating Number||Free seating (no number assigned)||Seat number assigned|
It may be a short ride but how does each ferry operator perform in their customer service overall?
What if you need some extra help?
|Official Website||No||Yes (cataferry.com)|
|Cabin Crew||Trained||Well Trained|
|Seat Upgrade||Not available||Available for update but depends on seats availability|
|Refreshment On Board||None||Yes with extra charge|
|Over-counter support||Only when there’s a trip||Full time|
|Customer Support||No online support||Online support|
|Luggage Fees||Only applicable for certain oversize baggage (e.g. golf, surf boards, bicycles, unusual number of bags per person); Fee determined by cabin crew||1 cabin bag and one laptop/ handbag to be brought onboard per passenger without extra charge.|
|Baby strollers, wheelchairs, walking frames are allowed onboard at no cost too.|
Read also: How To Go To Tioman Island From Tanjung Gemok Jetty (Includes Ferry Operators Review)
Jetty location can be everything!
Mersing Jetty is more susceptible to tidal conditions but is closer to Johor and Singapore!
And Tanjung Gemok jetty is a 35 minute drive extra from Mersing and with fewer buses that stop here.
But on the other hand, Tioman ferry schedules are more stable at Tanjung Gemok Jetty!
|Location||1.Tanjung Gemok Jetty||1.Tanjung Gemok Jetty|
|Note: Even if you booked a ferry from Mersing Jetty, you may have to switch to Tg Gemok Jetty after been informed accordingly.|
|Counter||Mersing: Mersing Harbour Centre Counter R22 or W2 (Information)||Dedicated counter at Tanjung Gemok Jetty|
|Tanjung Gemok: Gemilang Counter 3|
Read also: How To Go To Tioman Island From Mersing Jetty (Travel Tips & Ferry Ticket Booking Guide Included)
There have not been any ferry accidents since 2007. In fact, smaller ferry operators were shut down due to safety concerns!
Bluewater Ferry Tioman and Cataferry change their sailing schedules on a monthly basis and even so, may cancel ferry trips if the weather or tidal conditions are unfavourable.
But just in case, it’s good to know what safety preparations they have!
|Safety Briefing||Not available||Yes|
|Travel Insurance||Optional to purchase Lonpac Insurance||No|
|Tendency To Overload Ferry||Yes, during peak season||No|
Read also: Best Time To Visit Tioman Island (Includes Moonsoon Months, Weather, Humidity And Rainfall)
The reliability of the ferries depends on the location of the jetty and of course, on the weather!
There are significantly less ferry trips during the monsoon months like November until February!
|Speed||Takes 1.5-2 hours to reach Tioman Island (Or slower than estimated duration)||Takes 1.5-2 hours to reach Tioman Island|
|Schedule||-Typically sails a few times a day at peak season;||-Typically sails twice a day;|
|-Schedule changes every month;||-Schedule changes every month;|
|-Time listed can still change a week before or even on the day of departure||-Times listed are usually fixed.|
|Departure Time||Sometimes delayed||Usually on time|
To optimize the ferry transfer experience for all their passengers, both ferry operators have rules in place!
Be sure to read the full terms and conditions for whichever ferry operator you end up choosing!
|Boarding Time||Be at jetty 60 to 90 minutes before departure||Be at jetty 20 minutes before departure|
|Cancellation by ferry operators due to unfavourable sailing conditions||Tickets are valid for the next 6 months or may be refunded with administration fee of US$5 (T&C apply)||3 options: (T&C apply)|
|1. Take next available ferry|
|2. Ticket fare valid for 90 days during which, you must re-book again|
|3. Refund prior to date of supposed ferry departure|
|Cancellation by customer||Not possible (I.e. not refundable)||Not possible (I.e. not refundable)|
|No show/ late to catch ferry||Tickets will be forfeited||Tickets will be forfeited|
|Change of date by customer||Not allowed.||Not allowed.|