Muelle Osmena Wharf: Commuting Tips from Mactan to Cebu via Ferry

Aside from taxis, multicabs and jeepneys there is an alternative way to go to Cebu City from the Cebu – Mactan Airport through public commute. I am talking about a ferry ride that you can take from the Muelle Osmena Wharf. These ferries from Opon  docks at Pier 3 in Cebu City. From Pier Tres you can walk to the gate to reach the highway and then ride jeepneys onward to your destination.

This post is a simple guide to help travelers commute from Lapu – Lapu City to Cebu City via ferry ride and will not discuss the history of Muelle Osmena Wharf or it’s heritage relevance etc.  :mrgreen:

There are lots of Oponganons that do ride these ferries regularly especially students in the various universities in the downtown area since its more accessible to them and allows them to avoid heavy traffic in Mandaue City during peak hours.

Sponsored Ad

Lately too, more residents are taking the ferry because of the on-going bridge repairs. You can’t imagine how bad the traffic was on the way to the Mactan – Mandaue Bridge (first bridge) and Marcelo Fernan Bridge (second bridge) last March 4 and 5 when repair started, a normal 20 minutes ride from Lapu – Lapu City to Mandaue City stretched closed to 2 hours.  So locals here started thinking of an alternative, faster way to go to Cebu mainland and the answer of course is ferry ride. Even the Lapu – Lapu City government advises everyone to leave their houses at least 2 hours earlier than usual or to take the ferry during those days of terrible traffic.

As of today March 18, repair on the first bridge is completed. The second bridge repair work will start tonight and will continue every night thereafter from 10 PM to 6 AM until project is completed.

If you have flights going out of Cebu past 8 PM starting March 18 until month-end, its better to head to the airport real early. Please be very early and anticipate heavy traffic on the way to the Mactan airport.

Welcome to Lapu – Lapu City – Muelle Osmena Wharf

Muelle Osmena Wharf



Ferry to the rescue!

If you are also looking for an alternative way to go to Cebu City from the airport through public commute, look no further than the ferry.

My first choice would still be jeepney transport but the ferry is a good alternative.

From the airport, you can ride a yellow multicab. This will get you all the way from airport to Opon merkado or the Lapu – Lapu City public market. From there you can walk to Muelle Osmena which is at the back of the Virgen de la Regla Church.  Fare from airport to market is only P10.

But if you are a first timer here in Mactan you might be confused on how to go to Muelle Osmena from the market so I am suggesting this route:

1. Take the yellow airport multicab and get down just after you pass by Island Stay Hotel / Zubuchon Restaurant intersection.  You can also get off  in front of AA BBQs or anywhere along that road. It’s just about 5 minutes from the airport. Fare is P8.

2.  Wait for any multicab with signage “SIMBAHAN”, this will get you all the way to the entrance of Muelle Osmena. Another P8.

**I would really suggest you take the second option.

Sponsored Ads

Cruising through Mactan Strait via Ferry

Mactan Ferry from Opon

Ferry Schedule and Fare

The ferries serve the routes Muelle Osmena to Pier 3. First trip is at 6 AM, last trip is 9:30 pm.

There is no fix time schedule but a ferry will wait for 20 minutes tops for passengers.  Full or not they will leave the port. During peak hours a ferry will be filled in less than 10 minutes. Queue lines can be long during peak hours but there are several ferries that serves the route so you don’t have to worry about waiting a long time to get on one. Usually when a ferry leaves Muelle Osmena, another one is approaching port.

Cost of ticket is just P14, the ride across Mactan Strait is approximately 15 minutes.

Visit the Virgen de la Regla Church 

This is the best route if you are coming from Cebu City downtown and wants to visit the Opon Church – the Virgen of the Rule Parish. In Colon St, you can ride any jeepney that has the “Pier 3” signboard.

If you are also going to South Bus Terminal direct from the airport, you can also follow this commuting tip since as you exit the Pier 3 complex and reach the highway, there are 12G, 12I jeepneys that passes there. You can ride on one and just tell the driver to drop you off nearest SBT.

At the top of this lane is the backdoor entrance gate of the Opon Church

Road To Muelle Osmena Pier

Missing Ferry Rides

My memories of riding ferries from the Muelle Osmena Wharf was way back in 1990 when Bagyong Ruping damaged the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge, at that time the second bridge was not yet built and locals and visitors have no other recourse but to take the ferries.  I’ve never ridden the ferry since then largely because our house is near the Opon jeepney terminal, it’s faster to take the jeepney than go all the way to Muelle Osmena  in our case.

But maybe it’s high time I ride one of these ferries again so instead of travelling over the Mactan Strait via the bridge, I’ll be cruising through its waters.  Hmmm why not eh?  :mrgreen:

Sponsored Links



About Cille Anne

This blog is maintained, written and edited by she - who likes to travel a lot, more like wishes to travel a lot, doesn't want to miss a photo-op, loves the rain, certified chocoholic, coffee keeps her sane - it runs through her veins, she doesn't know how to swim, but wants to dive in Tubbataha all the same haha

~Come share with me, my travels, my stories, my life.

My name is Cille. AND THIS IS PENFIRES. :)


  1. Hi Ms. Cille! Thank you for your posts regarding your travels and tips for backpackers especially for those visiting Cebu. They’re so detailed, practical and informative! 🙂

    I would like to ask you if you know what time the Mactan Shrine opens? A couple of my friends and I are visiting Cebu and our flight arrives at 5:45 in the morning. We plan to tour Mactan first and then by lunch time head to the city. Since the guitar factories open at 8 am, we are planning to drop by Mactan Shrine and probably have a breakfast/brunch at one of the Sutukil restaurants in the area before heading to the guitar factories. 🙂 We can’t seem to find details regarding the open/closing time of the Shrine anywhere in the net. 😛

    Thank you again for your wonderful blog posts!

    • Cille Anne says:

      Hi hpy salamat =)

      On the shrine it opens everyday at 4 am and closes at 10pm. It opens early because of the joggers, night time the Mactan Shrine is also nice because of the lights even at the mangrove area.

      Make sure you ask the sutukil restors the prices of the fresh seafood before you buy and also cooking fee so all things are in order.

      Hope you’ll have a wonderful time in Mactan and Cebu! =)

  2. Hi whats the best way to travel from Basak Lapu-lapu to University of Sancarlos? ferry or jeep?


  1. […] Check this commuting guide – Ferry Ride to Cebu City […]

  2. […] **Alternative here is to take the Ferry in Muelle Osmena (back of church), this will get you to Pier 3. From Pier 3 there are jeepneys bound for […]

  3. […] If after visiting the Virgen of the Rule Church in Lapu – Lapu City, you plan to go to Cebu City, you can choose to sail on a ferry or a pumpboat which docks at the Muelle Osmena mini-port. This will take you to Pier 3 (from Pier 3 you can go to SM or downtown Cebu City by jeepney) . You can read more about Ferry Crossing Mactan to Mandaue via Muelle Osmena. […]

Speak Your Mind