Getting to Cebu

This (relativley) modern facility in Philippine terms, serves both international and domestic flights and boasts of a comprehensive list of facilities.

The PR blurb states it has lots of amenities including a shopping center, duty-free shop, souvenir shops, cafés, business centers, food shops, communication facilities, banking facilities, car rentals, hotel and resort reservations, and beauty & health services. The reality, no shopping center, a couple of souvenir shops, a spluttering of car rental stands and a couple of decent waiting areas for a few of the 5-star resorts. The immigration is reasonably fast and baggage handling is ok.

Cathay Pacific Airways, Cebu Pacific & (technically speaking) Philippine Airlines, the Philippine’s flag carrier, fly between Hong Kong and Cebu daily (well sort of – it is actually a Cathay Pacific plane but they share the code with Philippine Airlines). However, your best bet if your watching the bucks, is Cebu Pacific.

Silkair flies between Cebu and Singapore daily, whilst Cebu Pacific flies every other day (check their schedule). Philippine Airlines services the Cebu-Tokyo route daily except Mondays, Cebu-Seoul four times a week, and Cebu-Kuala Lumpur and Cebu-Kota Kinabalu twice a week. Malaysian Airlines flies from Kuala Lumpur via Kota Kinabalu to Cebu twice a week as well. Qatar Airways, meanwhile, flies from Doha to Cebu via Singapore.

Cebu is also the domestic air hub of the Philippines, with close to 60 flights daily on average to and from popular destinations and key cities all over the archipelago such as Manila, Boracay, Siargao (Surigao), Zamboanga, Davao, Bohol, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Camiguin, Gen. Santos, Leyte, etc.

Visitors from North America, Europe, Middle East, and the rest of the world need to fly through either Singapore, Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur to get to Cebu. If you can keep a stiff-upper-lip amidst the horrendous traffic and cacophonic noise of Manila, you will obtain a faster connection to Cebu since there are over 20 flights daily (or almost two flights every hour) between the two cities.

Charter flights are also available in some select destinations such as China, Russia and USA. Cebu is an increasingly popular destination so more routes are bound to be added.

By Boat (Ferry):

OK, so you will quickly establish that most locals get around the 7,107 islands by ferry. Why? It’s cheap. Dam cheap. Fares begin at just a couple of hundred pesos (USD4). Now, that’s cheap in anyone’s language.

Cebu is home to almost 80 percent of the country’s passenger vessels and nerve center of the country’s largest – WG&A, Sulpicio Lines, Trans-Asia, George & Peter Lines and Lorenzo Shipping Lines – Cebu City’s domestic port is clearly the country’s busiest.

Large cruise ships with a capacity of 2,000 to 4,000 passengers ply the more distant routes such as Manila, Davao, Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro. Medium-sized vessels such as the roll-on/roll-off (roro) types sail to the nearer destinations while fast ferries cover the neighboring islands in two hours or less depending on the destination.

Please check out our article on ferries for more info, schedules and websites.

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