Bluewater Vs Cataferry - Which Is The Best

When it comes to taking a ferry to Tioman Island from Johor – it’s really a choice between the ferry operators in Mersing Jetty and Tanjung Gemok (Bluewater Vs Cataferry)!

Cataferry is a Double-hull Catamaran

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!

Bluewater Express Ferry

Bluewater Express Ferry Bistari2. (Photo credits to 12go.asia)

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!

Bluewater Vs Cataferry - Tioman Ferry Feature & Facilities

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!

Bluewater Vs Cataferry Features

Cataferry Features

Feature BW Cataferry
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
Air-Cond Yes Yes
Sun Deck Depends on the boat you get Available with purchase of ticket (Standard/ Premium)
Toilets Yes Yes
TV Yes Yes
Mobile signal onboard None at sea Connection is possible most of the time
Bluewater Express Ferry Seating
Bluewater Express Ferry Passenger Cabin. (Photo credits to Tripadvisor)

Bluewater Vs Cataferry - Tioman Ferry Ticket

Another important aspect – how much does each ferry operator charge?

What is the booking process like? Are seat assignments?

Let us tell you now!

Feature BW Cataferry
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
Cataferry Ticket Counter
Cataferry Ticket Counter. (Photo credits to govisittioman.com)

Bluewater Vs Cataferry - Tioman Ferry Service

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?

Cataferry Ocean Snack Bar

Cataferry Ocean Snack Bar

Feature BW Cataferry
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.
Review Average Positive

Read also: How To Go To Tioman Island From Tanjung Gemok Jetty (Includes Ferry Operators Review)

Tioman Ferry Jetty

Jetty location can be everything!

Mersing Jetty is more susceptible to tidal conditions but is closer to Johor and Singapore!

Mersing Jetty Johor

Mersing Jetty

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!

Feature BW Cataferry
Location 1.Tanjung Gemok Jetty 1.Tanjung Gemok Jetty
2.Mersing 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)

Tanjung Gemuk Jetty Johor
Tanjung Gemok Jetty

Tioman Ferry Safety

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!

Feature BW Cataferry
Safety Briefing Not available Yes
Life Vests Yes Yes
Life Rafts No 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)

Bluewater Vs Cataferry - Tioman Ferry Rides

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!

Tip: Taking a bus? Make sure you take one that arrives at the jetty in the early morning to give you ample buffer time to secure a ferry trip!

Feature BW Cataferry
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
Stability Fair Smooth

Bluewater Vs Cataferry - Tioman Ferry Rules

To optimize the ferry transfer experience for all their passengers, both ferry operators have rules in place!

Ferry Operators to Tioman Island

Be sure to read the full terms and conditions for whichever ferry operator you end up choosing!

Feature BW Cataferry
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.