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How Long Is The Ferry Ride To Cozumel


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Marcelle Cabello



Welcome to Cozumel, a picturesque island paradise located off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters, breathtaking coral reefs, and vibrant marine life, Cozumel has become a popular destination for travelers seeking relaxation, adventure, and underwater exploration.


One of the most common questions travelers have when planning a trip to Cozumel is how long the ferry ride is to reach the island. Luckily, getting to Cozumel by ferry is a convenient and scenic option, allowing you to soak in the beauty of the Caribbean Sea as you make your way to the island.


In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the ferry transportation options to Cozumel, the ferry schedules and frequencies, as well as the factors that can affect the duration of the ferry ride. Whether you are arriving from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or another nearby location, we have got you covered with all the essential information to plan your journey.


So, sit back, relax, and prepare to embark on an unforgettable adventure to Cozumel as we delve into the details of the ferry rides!


Brief Overview of Cozumel

Cozumel is a stunning island located in the Caribbean Sea, just off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. With its pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and rich Mayan history, Cozumel has become a top destination for tourists from around the world.


The island is renowned for its exceptional diving and snorkeling opportunities, thanks to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second-largest coral reef system in the world. In fact, Cozumel’s underwater ecosystem is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting scuba diving enthusiasts and marine life enthusiasts alike.


Aside from its natural beauty, Cozumel offers a range of activities and attractions for all types of travelers. If you’re seeking adventure, you can explore the lush jungles and underground cenotes, go zip-lining, or embark on a thrilling ATV tour. For those looking for relaxation, the island boasts stunning beaches with powdery white sand and clear turquoise waters, perfect for sunbathing or enjoying a leisurely swim.


Cozumel is also known for its vibrant culture and history. You can explore ancient Mayan ruins, such as San Gervasio, and learn about the island’s archaeological significance. The downtown area of San Miguel offers a charming atmosphere with its colorful buildings, local shops, and delicious restaurants, where you can savor authentic Mexican cuisine.


When you visit Cozumel, you’ll find a warm and welcoming community that takes pride in preserving its natural beauty and cultural heritage. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or a history enthusiast, Cozumel offers something for everyone.


Now that we have a brief overview of Cozumel, let’s dive into the details of how to reach this tropical paradise by ferry.


Ferry Transportation Options to Cozumel

Travelers have multiple ferry transportation options to reach the beautiful island of Cozumel. The most common departure points are Cancun and Playa del Carmen, both located along the Riviera Maya coastline.


If you are arriving in Cancun and wish to take the ferry to Cozumel, you have two main options. The first is to take a taxi or private transportation to the Ultramar Ferry Terminal, located in Puerto Juarez. The second option is to travel to Playa del Carmen and take the ferry from there, which is a more popular choice for many travelers.


In Playa del Carmen, you will find two major ferry companies that provide regular service to Cozumel: Ultramar and Winjet. Both companies operate modern and comfortable ferries equipped with air conditioning and spacious seating.


The Ultramar Ferry departs from the Playa del Carmen Ferry Terminal, located near the famous Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue). It offers a high-speed ferry service with multiple departures throughout the day. The journey typically takes around 45 minutes to reach Cozumel.


Winjet, another reliable ferry company, also operates from the Playa del Carmen Ferry Terminal. They offer a slightly longer ferry ride compared to Ultramar, taking approximately 60 minutes to reach Cozumel.


It’s important to note that the ferry ride to Cozumel can be affected by weather conditions, especially during the hurricane season. It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast and the ferry company’s updates before planning your journey.


Overall, both Ultramar and Winjet provide efficient and comfortable ferry transportation options, making it easy for travelers to reach Cozumel from Cancun or Playa del Carmen.


Now that we know the ferry transportation options to Cozumel, let’s explore the schedules and frequencies of these ferries in the next section.


Ferry Schedules and Frequency

The ferry schedules and frequency from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel are quite frequent, allowing for convenient travel options throughout the day. Both Ultramar and Winjet operate regular ferry services, ensuring that you have flexibility in planning your trip.


The ferry schedule may vary depending on the season and specific dates, so it’s always recommended to check the latest schedules on the ferry company’s website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information. However, typically, the ferry services start as early as 6:00 AM and continue until around 10:00 PM.


During peak seasons, such as holidays and weekends, there may be additional departures to accommodate the higher number of travelers. Be sure to consider this when planning your trip and allow yourself enough time to arrive at the ferry terminal prior to departure.


The frequency of the ferry rides can range from every 30 minutes to every hour, depending on the time of day and demand. During busy periods, especially in the mornings and early evenings, you can expect more frequent departures to cater to the influx of passengers.


Both Ultramar and Winjet provide online booking options, allowing you to secure your ferry tickets in advance. This can be especially beneficial during peak travel periods when the ferries tend to fill up quickly. Booking your tickets in advance will ensure a smoother and hassle-free experience, giving you peace of mind knowing that you have secured your spot.


Now that we know the ferry schedules and frequency, let’s move on to the next section and explore the duration of the ferry ride from different locations.


Duration of the Ferry Ride from Different Locations

The duration of the ferry ride to Cozumel can vary depending on the departure point. Let’s take a look at the approximate duration from different locations:

  • From Playa del Carmen: The ferry ride from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel typically takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the ferry company and sea conditions. Ultramar and Winjet both offer regular ferry services, ensuring a convenient and efficient journey.
  • From Cancun: If you are departing from Cancun, the ferry ride to Cozumel will take a bit longer. It usually takes around 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach Cozumel. Keep in mind that you will need to travel to either Puerto Juarez or Playa del Carmen to catch the ferry.

It’s important to note that the duration mentioned above is an approximate estimate and can be influenced by various factors such as sea conditions, weather, and the type of ferry you choose. While the ferry rides are generally smooth and comfortable, it’s possible to experience slight variations in duration.


If you’re prone to seasickness, taking motion sickness medication beforehand or opting for a larger and more stable ferry can help make your journey more pleasant.


It’s always a good idea to plan your day accordingly, taking into consideration the duration of the ferry ride and the time you would like to spend in Cozumel. Remember to factor in the time you will need to travel to and from the ferry terminal as well.


Now that we know the approximate duration of the ferry ride, let’s explore the factors that can affect this duration in the next section.


Factors Affecting the Duration of the Ferry Ride

Several factors can contribute to the duration of the ferry ride to Cozumel:

  • Weather Conditions: The weather plays a significant role in determining the duration of the ferry ride. If there are strong winds or rough sea conditions, the ferry may slow down or alter its route for safety reasons. During hurricane season, which typically runs from June to November, there is a higher chance of experiencing delays or modifications to the ferry schedule.
  • Size and Type of Ferry: The size and type of ferry you choose can affect the duration of the ride. High-speed ferries, for example, may have a shorter travel time compared to larger and slower vessels. Additionally, larger ferries may be more resistant to rough sea conditions and provide a smoother journey.
  • Passenger Load: The number of passengers traveling on the ferry can impact the boarding and disembarking process, which can in turn affect the duration of the ride. During peak seasons, when there is a higher volume of travelers, it may take more time to load and unload passengers, resulting in a slightly longer ferry ride.
  • Traffic and Port Congestion: Playa del Carmen and Puerto Juarez, the departure points for the ferry to Cozumel, can experience traffic and congestion, especially during peak travel times. It’s important to factor in potential delays caused by traffic when planning your journey to the ferry terminal. Arriving well in advance of your desired departure time can help ensure a smoother experience.

While these factors can affect the duration of the ferry ride, it’s worth noting that the ferry companies prioritize safety and aim to provide a comfortable and reliable service to passengers. Any adjustments to the ferry schedule or route are made with the well-being of passengers in mind.


Now that you are aware of the factors that can influence the duration of the ferry ride, let’s move on to the next section to discover some tips for a smooth ferry ride experience.


Tips for a Smooth Ferry Ride Experience

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable ferry ride experience to Cozumel, consider the following tips:

  • Plan ahead: Check the ferry schedules and frequencies in advance to determine the best departure time that suits your travel plans. It’s also a good idea to book your tickets online in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your spot.
  • Arrive early: Arriving at the ferry terminal early gives you ample time to check-in, especially if you need to purchase tickets on-site. It also allows you to navigate through any potential crowds and ensures a stress-free boarding process.
  • Check the weather: Before heading to the ferry terminal, check the weather forecast and any updates from the ferry company. Inclement weather conditions can affect the ferry schedules or even lead to cancellations. Stay informed to avoid any inconvenience.
  • Travel light: Minimize your luggage and bring only the essentials for your trip to Cozumel. Having less baggage makes it easier to move around on the ferry and simplifies the boarding and disembarking processes.
  • Stay hydrated: During the ferry ride, it’s important to stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you to avoid dehydration, particularly if you are traveling during hot summer months.
  • Take motion sickness medication if needed: If you are prone to motion sickness, consider taking over-the-counter motion sickness medication or using natural remedies before boarding the ferry. This can help prevent discomfort during the journey.
  • Capture the views: As you make your way to Cozumel, don’t forget to capture the stunning views of the Caribbean Sea. Take advantage of the open-air decks on the ferry to savor the ocean breeze and snap some memorable photos.
  • Respect the rules and guidelines: Follow any instructions provided by the ferry company and respect the rules and guidelines during the journey. This includes wearing a mask when necessary and adhering to any safety protocols in place.

By following these tips, you can ensure a seamless and pleasant ferry ride experience to Cozumel, setting the stage for an unforgettable adventure on the island.


Now that we’ve covered essential tips for a smooth ferry ride, it’s time to conclude our guide to the ferry rides to Cozumel.



Traveling to Cozumel by ferry is not only a convenient transportation option but also a scenic and enjoyable experience. The island’s proximity to Cancun and Playa del Carmen makes it easily accessible for tourists looking to explore its natural beauty and vibrant culture.


In this comprehensive guide, we have discussed the various ferry transportation options available, including departures from both Cancun and Playa del Carmen. We have provided insights into the schedules, frequencies, and approximate duration of the ferry rides, allowing you to plan your journey effectively.


While factors such as weather conditions, ferry size, passenger load, and port congestion can influence the duration of the ferry ride, the ferry companies prioritize safety and ensure a comfortable experience for passengers.


We have also shared valuable tips to ensure a smooth ferry ride experience. Planning ahead, arriving early, checking the weather forecast, traveling light, and staying hydrated are key to enjoying a hassle-free journey.


As you embark on your ferry ride to Cozumel, prepare to be amazed by the tropical paradise that awaits you. With its pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and rich Mayan history, Cozumel offers an unforgettable vacation experience.


So, sit back, relax, and let the ferry take you to the captivating island of Cozumel. Get ready to make lasting memories as you explore the underwater wonders, soak up the sun on pristine shores, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of this Caribbean gem.


Safe travels, and enjoy your adventure in Cozumel!