Getting to Tioman island need not be complicated!

It helps that there are only 2 ferry operators to choose from – Cataferry or Bluewater Express Ferry.

In this post, we break down what each of these 2 ferry operators have to offer. Along with some tips and what to expect along the way.

Read on and see which ferry suits your plans best!

You will be on your merry way to stunning Tioman island before you know it!

1. Cataferry

Cataferry started their catamaran service back in 2017 which makes them the newest Tioman island ferry service available in Malaysia right now!

Cataferry-Ferry service provider

Cataferry to Tioman Island Route

From the mainland, Cataferry will depart from the Tanjung Gemok Jetty in Kuala Rompin, Pahang.

So if you come up from Singapore, the drive will take approximately 2.5 to 3.5 hours.

The ferry journey itself (from Tioman island from Tanjung Gemok) is shorter at 1.5 to 2 hours.

But don’t worry:

You can always stay overnight at Tanjung Gemok at the many accommodation options they have there!

Cataferry stops at not 1 but 5 different jetties on Tioman island:

  • Genting Pier
  • Paya Pier
  • Tekek Pier
  • Air Batang
  • Salang Pier

The last stop is Tekek Pier.

Cataferry Ferry to Tioman Island
Cataferry Ferry. (Photo credits to cataferry.com)

Why You Should Choose Cataferry

  • Because of their unique twin-hull design, Cataferry catamarans offer more stability (and comfort) to its passengers. Great if you get seasick easily!
  • Everything is still quite new
  • Spacious and comfortable seating. The seats are numbered too so there will not be any chance of awkward confusion!
  • They take safety seriously. The staff onboard are trained and safety briefings will be given. And overloading of the ferry will not be an issue here.
  • Great service and timely journeys (with calm seas, of course).
  • Decent online connection during the ride
Cataferry Ferry Premium Seating
Cataferry Ferry Premium Seating. (Photo credits to cataferry.com)

Cataferry Tioman Schedule

The Cataferry service runs twice daily from Tanjung Gemok to Tioman island – once early in the morning and another time closer to noon.

Thus, the return journeys from Tioman island back to the mainland is done twice a day as well.

You can see their full schedule here:

https://bit.ly/2JLlKA3

Cataferry Ferry Economy Seating
Cataferry Ferry Economy Seating. (Photo credits to govisittioman.com)

Cataferry Fares & Ticket Prices

Cataferry offers economy and premium seats as well as outdoor benches. You can even sit up on the open deck area if you want to feel that sea breeze on your face!

Prices can vary pretty drastically depending on which day you choose.

The economy seats are usually priced anywhere between RM 5 – 70. While the premium seats will cost an additional RM 60 for more distance between your neighbor and you!

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

Tips & Tricks for Cataferry

Here are some things you can do to make sure you have a fuss-free experience with Cataferry:

  • Book earlier if you can – this may result in cheaper fares!
  • Make transportation arrangements with your chosen accommodation on Tioman island before you go.
  • Get to the check-in counter 1 hour before the ferry departs. Add another 30 minutes if it’s a public holiday, the school holidays or a long weekend.
  • Bring along your online booking confirmation receipt and MYKAD (for Malaysians) or passport for check-in. And remember to take these back with you after check-in!
  • Double check that your details match your boarding pass.
  • Be at the jetty 30 minutes before departure.
  • Have some ringgit on your person before you go! You never know when you will need it. (e.g. parking fee, snacks, etc)

2. Bluewater Express Ferry

An established ferry service, Bluewater Express Ferry have high-speed ferries at their disposal.

In fact, they used to be the only operator offering ferry services to Tioman island before Cataferry came into the picture.

Bluewater Express Ferry to Tioman Island Route

With Bluewater Express Ferry, you can choose to depart from either Mersing jetty or Tanjung Gemok jetty.

But if you’re coming from Singapore, you can cut back on the driving time by taking the ferry from Mersing jetty instead of Tanjung Gemok – a journey of 2 hours and 40 minutes.

From Mersing jetty, the ferry will take another 1.5 to 2 hours as they have a few stops at some jetties along Tioman Island:

  • Genting
  • Paya
  • Tekek
  • ABC
  • Panuba
  • Salang
Bluewater Express Ferry
Bluewater Express Ferry Bistari2. (Photo credits to 12go.asia)

Why You Should Choose Bluewater Express Ferry

  • You can book way in advance
  • Open return tickets are available
  • You can have an early start to your Tioman island vacation by booking either the pre-dawn or evening departure slots.
  • Because they offer the option to depart from Mersing jetty, you don’t have to drive up to Tanjung Gemok if you are coming from Singapore. Saves you about 35 minutes’ driving time.
  • Fixed fares regardless of peak season.
Bluewater Express Ferry to Tioman Island
Bluewater Express Ferry. (Photo credits to pulautioman.com.my)

Bluewater Express Ferry Tioman Schedule

The schedule varies per day.

However, they can offer up to 3 rides daily from the mainland to Tioman island.

They even have super early morning (like 4am) departures! And evening departures, depending on the day you want to go.

You can see their Mersing to Tioman island schedule here:

Ferry Schedule From Mersing to Tioman

Bluewater Express Ferry Seating
Bluewater Express Ferry Passenger Cabin. (Photo credits to Tripadvisor)

Bluewater Express Fares & Ticket Prices

Prices are fixed. Adults pay RM 35 each (RM 30.00-child for children) for a one way trip.

A two-way transfer would be RM80 per adult (and RM70 for kids).

Bluewater Express Ferry Ticket Counter
Bluewater Express Ferry Ticket Counter.

Tips & Tricks for Bluewater Express Ferry

Travelling with Bluewater Express Ferry can be tiresome if you’re not prepared – here are some tips:

  • Bring some ringgit with you if you’re coming from Singapore!
  • Check in 90 minutes before departure. For Mersing, it is Counter R22 or Counter W2 (Information). And for Tanjung Gemok, look for Gemilang Counter 3.
  • Be at the jetty early. Like 60-90 minutes before departure.
  • You may end up missing your boat if you take a bus straight to Mersing on the day of your departure. It’s best to drive your own car or arrange for a taxi service instead!
  • If you want to avoid the crowd (and overloading), don’t go during the school or public holidays!
  • Allow ample time into your travel schedule before and after your departure date to accommodate delays. Sometimes, the ferry can be late (depending on the tide).
  • Prepare to be squished – seats are fairly small. Take what you need in a small bag that you can keep with you because the main luggage will be kept quite far from the passengers.
  • It’s free seating – if you come late, you may not get a seat at all! Especially during the peak season!
  • You probably won’t have any access to the internet while onboard. Bring a book or some music to pass the time!
  • Hope you can swim because their staff are not trained to handle emergencies!

Conclusion

You’re one step closer to that island vacation you’ve been dreaming of! Now that you know which ferry operator (Cataferry or Bluewater Express Ferry) fits your travel plans best, pick a date and book your tickets!