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How Long Is The Ferry Ride To Jeju Island


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Harlie Beckett



Welcome to Jeju Island, a stunning destination off the southern coast of South Korea. Known for its natural wonders, volcanic landscapes, and vibrant culture, Jeju Island attracts millions of visitors each year. Whether you’re planning a relaxing beach vacation, exploring scenic hiking trails, or immersing yourself in the island’s rich history, Jeju Island has something for everyone.


Getting to Jeju Island is an integral part of your travel plans, and you have several options to consider. While air travel is the most popular choice for many tourists, taking a ferry to Jeju Island can be a unique and memorable experience. With sweeping views of the sea and the possibility of spotting dolphins along the way, the ferry ride offers a pleasant alternative to reaching the island.


In this article, we will explore the different modes of transportation to Jeju Island and focus on the ferry options available. We will also delve into the duration of the ferry ride and factors that can affect the travel time. Lastly, we will provide some tips to optimize your ferry ride experience and make the most of your journey to Jeju Island.


Overview of Jeju Island

Jeju Island, also known as the “Island of the Gods,” is a popular tourist destination and a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. Located approximately 60 miles off the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island boasts breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches, lush forests, and unique geological formations.


This volcanic island is home to various natural wonders, the most iconic being Hallasan, South Korea’s highest peak and the centerpiece of Hallasan National Park. Hiking enthusiasts can embark on the challenging yet rewarding journey to the summit, where they will be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.


Jeju Island’s coastline is adorned with stunning beaches, each with its own charm. The white sands of Jungmun Beach, the black volcanic rocks of Hyeopjae Beach, and the emerald waters of Hamdeok Beach are just a few examples of the island’s coastal treasures. These beaches offer a range of activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and even surfing during certain times of the year.


Aside from its natural beauty, Jeju Island is also steeped in history and culture. The island is dotted with ancient shrines, fascinating museums, and Buddhist temples, each providing a glimpse into the island’s rich heritage. Visitors can explore the Jeju Folk Village Museum to learn about traditional island life or visit the iconic Seongsan Ilchulbong, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its dramatic sunrise views.


Moreover, Jeju Island is renowned for its unique cultural practices and festivals. The Jeju Haenyeo (women divers) offer an extraordinary opportunity to witness the diving traditions of the island. These skilled divers have been harvesting seafood using traditional methods for centuries and have been designated as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


With its diverse attractions, Jeju Island offers a wide range of activities for every type of traveler. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, cultural immersion, or simply want to connect with nature, Jeju Island promises an unforgettable experience.


Modes of Transportation to Jeju Island

When it comes to reaching Jeju Island, you have a few different transportation options to choose from. The most common methods include air travel, taking a ferry, or a combination of both.


The quickest and most convenient way to get to Jeju Island is by air. Jeju International Airport is well-connected to major cities in South Korea, as well as international destinations. Several airlines offer frequent flights to and from Jeju Island, making it easily accessible for travelers from all over the world. The flight duration from Seoul to Jeju Island is approximately one hour, ensuring a swift and efficient journey.


However, if you prefer a more scenic and leisurely option, taking a ferry can be a wonderful alternative. Jeju Island is renowned for its ferry services, providing an opportunity to enjoy the picturesque surrounding waters while en route to the island.


Combining air travel with a ferry ride is another popular choice. Many travelers opt to fly into Jeju Island and then take a ferry back to the mainland or vice versa. This allows for a more varied and flexible travel experience, allowing you to enjoy both the speed of air travel and the tranquil beauty of a ferry ride.


Regardless of the transportation mode you choose, it’s important to plan your journey in advance and consider factors such as travel time, cost, and personal preferences. Keep in mind that ferry services may vary depending on the season, so it’s recommended to check the schedules and make reservations beforehand to ensure a smooth travel experience.


Now that we have explored the different modes of transportation, let’s dive deeper into the ferry options available for traveling to and from Jeju Island.


Ferry Options to Jeju Island

Taking a ferry to Jeju Island is not only a practical mode of transportation but also a unique way to experience the stunning coastal scenery. The island is well-served by various ferry routes, offering travelers several options to choose from.


The ferry services to Jeju Island operate from several ports on the mainland, including Incheon, Mokpo, and Busan. The choice of port will depend on your location and travel preferences. Each port has its own schedule and frequency of ferry departures, so it’s essential to check the available options beforehand.


The most popular ferry route to Jeju Island is from Incheon International Port. It offers a convenient option for travelers arriving in South Korea via Incheon International Airport, as the port is located nearby. The ferry journey from Incheon to Jeju Island typically takes around 12-14 hours, providing an overnight travel experience. Despite the longer duration, many travelers appreciate the chance to relax and rest on the ferry, especially if they prefer not to fly.


Another common ferry route is from Mokpo Port, which is located on the southwestern coast of South Korea. The ferry ride from Mokpo to Jeju Island is comparatively shorter, usually taking around 5-6 hours. This route is favored by travelers who want to enjoy a scenic coastal journey during daylight hours.


For those who prefer a shorter ferry ride, the Busan-Jeju route is an excellent option. The ferry from Busan to Jeju Island typically takes around 4-5 hours, making it the fastest option for reaching the island by sea. Busan is also a major transportation hub with excellent connectivity, making it a convenient starting point for many travelers.


It’s important to note that ferry schedules and travel times may vary depending on the season and weather conditions. It’s advisable to check the updated schedules, ticket availability, and any potential disruptions before planning your trip. Booking your tickets in advance is recommended, especially during peak travel periods, to secure your desired departure time.


Now that we have explored the ferry options to Jeju Island, let’s move on to discuss the duration of the ferry ride and factors that can affect the travel time.


Duration of the Ferry Ride to Jeju Island

The duration of the ferry ride to Jeju Island can vary depending on the route you choose and other factors such as weather conditions and the type of ferry you’re traveling on.


The ferry journey from Incheon to Jeju Island is the longest, typically taking around 12-14 hours. This route is popular among travelers who prefer a more leisurely experience and are looking to relax onboard during the overnight journey. While the longer duration may seem daunting to some, many passengers enjoy the opportunity to unwind, sleep, or simply enjoy the scenic views of the sea.


The ferry ride from Mokpo to Jeju Island is comparatively shorter, usually taking around 5-6 hours. This route provides ample opportunity to savor the coastal beauty during daylight hours. Travelers who opt for this route can enjoy the convenience of shorter travel time while still taking advantage of the ferry experience.


The fastest ferry route to Jeju Island is from Busan, with a travel time of approximately 4-5 hours. This route is ideal for those who want to minimize travel time and reach the island quickly. Busan is well-connected by land and air, making it a convenient starting point for many travelers.


Keep in mind that these durations are rough estimates and can vary depending on factors such as sea conditions, ferry speed, and traffic at the ports. Weather conditions, such as strong winds or rough seas, can potentially cause delays or disruptions to ferry services. It’s essential to check the updated schedules and be prepared for possible changes when planning your journey.


Despite the varying durations, the ferry ride to Jeju Island offers a unique perspective and a chance to appreciate the surrounding natural beauty. The sweeping views of the sea, the possibility of spotting dolphins, and the tranquil atmosphere onboard contribute to a memorable travel experience.


In the next section, we will explore some factors that can affect the duration of the ferry ride to Jeju Island.


Factors Affecting the Ferry Ride Duration

Several factors can impact the duration of the ferry ride to Jeju Island. It’s important to be aware of these factors as they can influence your travel plans and overall experience.


1. Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions, such as strong winds or storms, can significantly extend the ferry ride duration. Safety is the top priority, and ferry services may be delayed or even canceled in instances of inclement weather. It’s advisable to check the weather forecast before setting off and be prepared for potential changes in the ferry schedule.


2. Ferry Type: The type of ferry you’re traveling on can also affect the duration of the ride. High-speed ferries are designed for faster travel and tend to have shorter travel times compared to slower, larger vessels. The choice of ferry will depend on availability, personal preference, and the specific route you’re taking.


3. Port Traffic: The level of port traffic can influence the departure and arrival times of ferries. During peak travel seasons or busy periods, port congestion may occur, leading to delays in the ferry schedule. It’s advisable to arrive at the port early to ensure a smooth boarding process and avoid any potential delays.


4. Seasonal Demand: Ferry services to Jeju Island can experience higher demand during peak travel seasons, holidays, or weekends. During these times, more ferries might be scheduled, allowing for better availability and potentially shorter travel times. Conversely, during off-peak seasons, the number of ferries operating may be reduced, leading to longer wait times or limited departure options.


5. Route Distance: The distance between the departure port and Jeju Island can impact the travel duration. Longer routes naturally result in longer travel times, while shorter routes offer a quicker journey. It’s important to consider the specific route you choose and the associated travel time when planning your trip.


It’s crucial to stay informed and updated on any changes or disruptions to ferry services. Checking the official websites of ferry operators, contacting customer service, or utilizing local travel resources can help you stay informed about any factors that may affect the ferry ride duration.


Now that we’ve explored the factors that can influence the ferry ride duration, let’s move on to some helpful tips for optimizing your ferry ride experience to Jeju Island.


Tips for Optimizing the Ferry Ride Experience to Jeju Island

Here are some valuable tips to enhance your ferry ride experience to Jeju Island:

  1. Plan Ahead: Research and plan your ferry journey in advance. Check the schedules, ticket availability, and any potential disruptions. Booking your tickets ahead of time will help you secure your preferred departure time and avoid last-minute inconveniences.
  2. Arrive Early: Arriving at the port ahead of your scheduled departure time will give you ample time to check-in, go through any necessary procedures, and find your boarding gate. It will also help you avoid rushing and ensure a stress-free start to your journey.
  3. Pack Essentials: Bring essential items to ensure a comfortable ferry ride. Pack some snacks, water, a light jacket or sweater, and any other personal items that you might need during the journey. It’s also advisable to have some entertainment, such as a book, music, or other activities, to keep yourself occupied during the travel time.
  4. Enjoy the Scenery: Take advantage of the picturesque views during the ferry ride. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the sea, enjoy the fresh air, and keep an eye out for dolphins or other marine life that might make an appearance. Don’t forget to capture some memorable moments with your camera.
  5. Relax and Unwind: Use the ferry ride as an opportunity to relax and unwind. Take a nap, meditate, or simply enjoy the calm ambiance onboard. Treat it as a mini getaway where you can disconnect from the everyday hustle and bustle and enjoy some moments of tranquility.
  6. Stay Informed: Stay updated with any announcements or changes regarding your ferry journey. Pay attention to any announcements made onboard and stay informed about the disembarkation process at Jeju Island. Being aware of the necessary information will help you navigate the arrival process smoothly.
  7. Respect the Environment: Help maintain the cleanliness and beauty of the ferry and the surroundings. Dispose of waste properly, avoid littering, and follow any guidelines provided by the ferry staff. Respecting the environment will contribute to a pleasant experience for everyone.

By following these tips, you can optimize your ferry ride experience and make it a memorable part of your journey to Jeju Island.


Now that we’ve covered the tips, let’s conclude our discussion on the ferry ride to Jeju Island.



Traveling to Jeju Island is an adventure filled with natural beauty, cultural exploration, and unforgettable experiences. While air travel remains the most common choice for reaching the island, taking a ferry offers a distinctive and enjoyable alternative.


In this article, we explored the various modes of transportation to Jeju Island and focused on the ferry options available. We discussed the duration of the ferry ride, which can vary depending on the route, weather conditions, and other factors. From the leisurely overnight journey from Incheon to the shorter rides from Mokpo or Busan, each ferry route offers its own unique experience.


We also highlighted the factors that can influence the ferry ride duration, such as weather conditions, ferry type, port traffic, and seasonal demand. It’s essential to consider these factors when planning your journey and to stay informed about any changes or disruptions to ferry services.


To optimize your ferry ride experience to Jeju Island, we provided some helpful tips. Planning ahead, arriving early, packing essentials, embracing the scenery, and finding time to relax and unwind are just a few ways to make the most of your journey. Additionally, respecting the environment and staying informed about any announcements or changes will contribute to a smoother and more enjoyable experience.


Whichever mode of transportation you choose to reach Jeju Island, whether it’s by air or by ferry, the key is to savor every moment. Take in the breathtaking landscapes, immerse yourself in the rich culture, and embrace the unique charm of the island. Jeju Island awaits with its natural wonders and captivating beauty, ready to offer you an unforgettable journey.


So, whether you decide to soar through the skies or set sail across the sea, Jeju Island is waiting to welcome you with open arms. Start planning your trip today and get ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime.