The ferry to Roatan, a Caribbean island off the coast of Honduras, is one of the most popular alternatives to flying to this diver’s paradise. Departing from a port in the city of La Ceiba, Honduras, the ferry has proven more reliable and more cost-effective than many regional flights to Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport on the south side of the island.
The ferry to Roatan is a 152-foot long yacht named the Galaxy Wave. Its lower, air-conditioned deck is equipped with seating for 250 passengers, while the outdoor upper deck carries 150 additional passengers. 60 first-class seats on the top deck bring the total passenger capacity to 460. The yacht sells food and beverages at an onboard concession stand, in addition to LCD televisions for passenger entertainment. There are two daily sailings of the ferry to Roatan, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. Due to required security checks, arrival at the terminal an hour prior to departure is highly recommended. Passenger cargo is restricted. The ferry crossing takes 70-75 minutes.
The island of Utila is another popular destination, often incorporated with trips to Roatan. While there is currently no direct ferry to Utila from Roatan, it is possible to link two ferry runs together to travel between the two islands. The first leg is the Galaxy Wave ferry back to La Ceiba on the mainland. The second leg is the Utila Princess ferry to Utila. This catamaran also runs twice daily and provides air conditioning for passengers.
Many sites reference a direct ferry to Utila from Roatan on the Nina Elisabeth II. However, this option became obsolete after its captain, Captain Vern, was murdered on November 16, 2012. This unfortunate incident not only limited transportation between islands, but also devastated many people on Roatan and Utila, as Captain Vern was a beloved and popular character. Do check recent developments, as it is entirely possible another entrepreneurial small boat captain will step in to fill the void.