About the ride from Cebu to Cagayan de Oro
There’s so much to look forward to about traveling around the Philippines that you’ll be hard-pressed to know where to start. The Philippines have it all, from island hopping and snorkeling to lazing about on white-sand beaches and enjoying the laid-back local nightlife.
If you're looking for the quickest and most efficient means of getting from Cebu to Cagayan de Oro, flying is the answer. Flights only last for an hour. Planes are modern, comfortable and clean, and you can avoid a ten-hour ferry. So sit back and enjoy the ride.
Flights leave from Cebu-Mactan International Airport and arrive at Laguindingan Airport in Northern Mindanao. This is the city airport for Cagayan de Oro.
One-way tickets for the economy flight from Cebu to Cagayan de Oro start from US$21. There are usually at least three flights a day. Flying is the best way to arrive relatively un-creased; however, if you're looking for more of an experience, you might want to take the ferry.
Traveling by ferry around the Philippines is a great way to truly appreciate how large this island nation is. Voyages can be quite lengthy and sometimes a bit ‘up and down’ but, in the main, they’re a good chance to rest, relax and maybe catch up on some correspondence while at sea.
The ferry from Cebu to Cagayan de Oro takes around 10 hours. It's an overnight crossing so you can sleep, or you can investigate the late-night lounge bars and restaurants. Cabins come in various classes, from large shared dorm rooms to doubles with more privacy.
It’s a fairly affordable way to travel and a really popular option for backpackers and island hoppers traveling around the Philippines.
One final thing to remember is that some ferries won't run when the weather's really bad, which is good because no one likes getting seasick.
What to see when traveling from Cebu to Cagayan de Oro
If you're taking a flight from Cebu to Cagayan de Oro, don't expect to see much of the Philippines other than cloud cover. You might get lucky and spot one or two islands as you cross the Sulu Sea, but other than that, just kick back and enjoy the hour-long air-conditioned ride.
The airport at Cagayan de Oro is small but actually rather nice. There are also plans for an upgrade in the future. Watch this space.
If you want an alternative to flying, take the Cebu to Cagayan de Oro ferry. Now this can be a real experience to remember. Ferries are usually pretty large and have plenty to see and do onboard. The open-top sun deck is the best place to watch the waves and sun setting into the Sulu Sea.
The best moments to be on the top deck are the start and end of the voyage. It's fascinating to watch the industrious locals working at the harbor at both ends of the trip. Most ferries are enormous, so you tower above the port and get an excellent bird's eye view.
As you’re sailing through the night, there might be evening entertainment in the lounge areas. It's a good excuse to meet up with fellow travelers in the bar or just unwind if you've been on the road for a while. Of course, you also have the option to catch some rest in your cabin.
How to get from Cebu to Cagayan de Oro
Taking a flight
The one-way Cebu to Cagayan de Oro flight is the cheapest travel option and also the most comfortable and convenient way to cross the ocean.
It only takes an hour, but you’ll need to make it to the airport at least an hour before departure.
Flying gives you more time on the ground and won't leave you feeling jaded and exhausted after the experience. Ticket prices start from US$21.
Three airlines are operating a Cebu to Cagayan de Oro flight schedule: Philippines Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Philippines AirAsia. All three airlines provide a friendly, air-conditioned service. However, there may not be complimentary food for such a short flight.
Taking a ferry
The ferry from Cebu to Cagayan de Oro provides more of an experience. You'll be able to stroll around and meet fellow passengers. You'll also have the chance to find a seat on the top deck to sunbathe or curl up in an air-conditioned cabin if you prefer to splash out on a bit of privacy.
There are plenty of facilities onboard these large ferries, including washrooms, lounge areas, restaurants and bars. It's quite an enjoyable ride. However, don't take the Sulu Sea lightly if you've not got your water wings. You might need some seasickness tablets to avoid an uncomfortable 10-hour trip.
Ferry crossings are pretty regular, and the ferry companies operating in the Philippines are all very reliable. Lite Shipping, Mye Travel & Tours, and Trans-Asia Shipping operate a ferry from Cebu to Cagayan de Oro.
The least expensive cabins are much more like large dorm rooms with bunk beds. Prices start from US$26 for an economy bed in a dorm cabin. These can be noisy at night so make sure you bring earplugs just to be on the safe side. Although you'll usually be perfectly safe, it's also a good idea to stow any valuables out of sight. You can never be too safe.