Catch the Ferry from Ceiba to Culebra or Vieques

For as long as we can remember, the ferries that service Culebra and Vieques have operated out the ferry terminal in Fajardo. But starting October 2018, all ferries will be operating out of the new ferry terminal in Ceiba. There is also a contract with Puerto Rico Fast Ferries, who will operate their ships. These faster, modern ferries, coupled with the shorter route between Ceiba and Culebra/Vieques, will reduce the travel time needed to make the crossing.

All ferry operations have now been moved from the old ferry terminal in Fajardo to the new ferry terminal in Ceiba. There are still many bumps in the road, and schedules and the availability of ferries changes almost on a daily basis. This article covers what we know so far. We’ll update it as more information is made available.

Ceiba Ferry

The Ferries

The new ferries will be operated by Puerto Rico Fast Ferries, LLC, under contract to the Puerto Rico Maritime Transportation Authority (MTA). Puerto Rico Fast Ferries will operate two passenger ferries: the Schoodic Explorer, with capacity for 149 passengers, and the Big Cat, with capacity for 377 passengers(however the Coast Guard has only approved about half of that capacity). Additionally, there will be two cargo ferries: Mr. Evan, with capacity for 77 passengers and 16 vehicles, and Mr. Cade, with capacity for 68 passengers and 16 vehicles. The passenger ferries are already here in Puerto Rico, and are running. The cargo ferries are awaiting changes to facilities before they can run, so the cargo ferries of the PR ATM will be in use until that time. Note- there are fewer seats available for passengers than we had with the ATM run ferries, so there may not be room for everyone that wants to use them.

The PR ATM will still be in charge of the operations (ticket sales, schedules etc). They may also be using their boats when needed. .

Ceiba Ferry

The Ferry Terminal

The terminal building and parking lot are located on Marina Drive in the old Roosevelt Roads Naval Base.

Ticket windows are located on the outside wall, waiting room for 400 people, restrooms and a concession stand for snacks/drinks are inside.

Passenger Ferry Schedule

The passenger ferry for Ceiba (as published by DTOP on 30 October 2018) is …

  • Ceiba to Culebra
    (7 days a week) 6:00am • 10:30am • 3:00pm
  • Culebra to Ceiba
    (7 days a week) 7:15am • 12noon • 4:45 pm
  • Ceiba to Vieques
    (7 days/week & holidays) 6:30am • 11:00am • 3:00pm
  • Vieques to Ceiba
    (7 days/week & holidays) 9:00am • 1:00pm • 5:00pm

The cargo ferries current schedule (may change!). Passengers are allowed on these trips:

  • Ceiba to Culebra
    (7 days/week & holidays) 4:00 am • 9:00am • 7:00pm
  • Culebra to Ceiba
    (7 days/week) 6:00am • 1:00pm, 8:30pm
  • Ceiba to Vieques
    4:00am • 9:00am • 1:00pm• 4:45pm • 8:15pm
  • Vieques to Ceiba
    6:00am • 11:00am • 3:00pm • 6:30pm, • 9:30pm

Check our cargo ferry articles for other info about the the cargo ferry.

The crossing with the new PRFF ferries from Ceiba to Culebra should take about 45 minutes on the passenger ferries, while the crossing from Ceiba to Vieques should take about 30 minutes on the new passenger ferry. The ATM cargo ferries will take a little longer- about 45 mins to Vieques and about 1.5 hrs for Culebra. For now, the Vieques route will be to Isabel Segunda/Town pier (some time in the future, they will be using the Mosquito Pier) and Dewey in Culebra.

Can I Take My Rental Car to Culebra or Vieques?

The short answer is “No”.

There are two types of ferries that run between Ceiba/Culebra and Ceiba/Vieques — passenger ferries and cargo ferries. The passenger ferries carry passengers only — no cars. The cargo ferries carry both passengers and cargo (including cars). But, before you get all excited and think that you are going to save a couple bucks by taking your rental car over to Culebra or Vieques — think again. The cargo ferries are not intended for tourists. There is limited room that locals need for transportation and supplies. They do not provide reliable tourist transport and most car rental contracts prohibit taking rental cars off of the island of Puerto Rico.

Buying Tickets for a Passenger

For now, ticket prices are the same for everyone

A one-way ticket to Culebra costs $2.50 per person. A one-way ticket to Vieques costs $2.00 per person. . Kids 3-11 years old and seniors 60-74 years old cost $1.00 per person, seniors 75 years and older are free.

Ticket sales are still being handled by the PR MTA. Purchasing tickets will still have to be done, in person, at the ferry terminal ticket window. We have not heard any plans for online ticket sales.

For more info on routes and times and other ferry related things, call 787-497-7740 .

Ceiba Ferry

Directions to the Ceiba Ferry Terminal from the San Juan Area

The Ceiba ferry Terminal, as well as the Ceiba Airport, is located in the old Roosevelt Roads Naval Base in Ceiba. If you already know where the Ceiba Airport is, then finding the Ceiba Ferry Terminal will be easy for you.

Drive-time from the San Juan (SJU) Airport to the Ceiba Ferry Terminal is about 75-90 minutes.

If traveling to the ferry terminal from the San Juan area, you’ll want to take Route 26 east to Route 66 east to Route 3 east (toward Fajardo). Route 66 ends on Route 3 in Río Grande, so you’re taking Route 66 to the end. Note that Route 66 is a toll road, and an AutoExpreso transponder is required for the tolls.

Continue east on Route 3 toward Fajardo. Once in the Fajardo area, Route 3 becomes Route 53. Once you’re on Route 53, you’ll want to take Exit 2 at KM 1.4 (which is before the first toll booth). This is the exit for the Puerto del Rey Marina and the Ceiba Airport. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left under Route 53, then continue straight. This will put you back on Route 3 heading south. Then, really all you need to do is follow the signs for the Puerto del Rey Marina and the Ceiba Airport. Continue on Route 3 past the Puerto del Rey Marina on your left.

You’ll continue on Route 3 to KM 52.4, where you’ll turn left onto Tarawa Drive. Landmarks here include a solar farm on the right, and the “Bienvenidos Ceiba” sign in the photo above. Continue straight on Tarawa Drive until you arrive at the guardhouse at the entrance to the naval base. If there is a guard, just tell them that you are going to the ferry.

Once through the gate, follow the brown “Ferry” signs — At the first V, you’ll go left onto Forrestal Drive. At the second V, you’ll follow the road as it curves to the left. At the third V, go right. Then, finally, turn left onto Marina Drive. Continue on Marina Drive until you come to the parking area and blue DTOP ATM building on your right.

There is a large parking lot next to the ferry terminal, it costs $5 plus IVU per day.

Ceiba Ferry

Other Info

You can bring coolers, beach chairs, beach umbrellas, snorkel gear, etc. with you. The coolers and large things will be stored away from the seating areas — usually outside and/or in the front or the back of the boat — the crew will tell you where to put the items, and you have to go pick it up on the way off the ferry. There is a charge if you have extra stuff, just a buck or two each – supposedly only “one bag” per person allowed. Tell them what you are bringing at the ticket window, or you will have to run back and pay the additional fee before they allow you on the ferry. Animals are allowed on the ferry if they are in a crate or cage and you have paid the fee for them. Bikes are only allowed on the cargo ferry.

The trip over can be a little rough. Sea sickness bags are available on-board. If you are prone to motion sickness, take sea sickness medicine at least one hour before boarding the ferry so that is ready to work when you need it. Sometimes the seas are flat, and sometimes they’re not. I find the westbound trip back from Culebra/Vieques to be less rough than the eastbound trip to the islands.

You can refer to the Departamento de Transportación y Obras Públicas Facebook page for more information or to get answers to your questions (they do respond to messages sent through there).

We are in the process of updating the maps we use on our web site. While we're working on that, you can click on the GPS coordinates below to view the location on Google Maps ...

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

Comments & Discussion Leave a Comment »

There are 69 comments on this article. Add to the Discussion »

Yes, passengers are allowed on the cargo ferry. It costs people $2.50 each.

Comment by Gwenn on 17 Dec 2018

From Ceiba to Culebra, can we take the 7:00 pm cargo ferry on 12/21? When should we purchase the ticket latest?

Comment by ina yin on 17 Dec 2018

Avis. They have an office right in Ceiba.

Comment by Gwenn on 16 Dec 2018

I'm wondering if it is possible to get a one way car rental from San Juan to the ferry terminal. Are there any car rental companies that would do this? Thank you

Comment by Hedda Rublin on 16 Dec 2018

The ferry runs decently well, but yes, it may be delayed or have issues. And I assume it will still be the same in Mid-January. But I would risk it. Many people use it. Just have an open mind and realize, you may have to wait. Maybe not, but maybe.

Comment by Gwenn on 15 Dec 2018

Hi, We will be visiting Vieques in mid-January. We will arrive Friday, spend the night in San Juan, then depart for Vieques Saturday. We are currently planning on using the ferry Ceiba-Vieques bc my partner is phobic re: small planes (props, puddle jumpers) and I can't convince her to fly - not even for such a short (30 minute) flight. But, confirming what I have read elsewhere, our host (lives in NY but visits Vieques regularly) warned us against using the ferry bc of the recent changes and terminal location change to Ceiba. She said it is not currently reliable and people get stranded for 3-4 hours on a regular basis. Any advice for taking the Ceiba-Vieques ferry on a Saturday to make it as painless as possible? Thank you!

Comment by janet on 15 Dec 2018

Just type in Ceiba Ferry Terminal...it comes up as an option. It is on Marina Drive.

Comment by Gwenn on 13 Dec 2018

What’s is the address to the ceiba ferry? Same as the airport? ( I will need it to call an Uber)....

Comment by Amber Ortiz on 13 Dec 2018

Yes,is that not clear in the article. The Fajardo ferry is closed. The passenger ferry is faster, but passengers can also go on the cargo ferry. So if you miss the 3pm passenger, take the next cargo ferry. Or, to avoid a lot of wasted time, check to see about flights out of Isla Grand airport.

Comment by Gwenn on 12 Dec 2018

Just to confirm, so the ferry terminal in Fajardo is out of service and we can only use the on i Ceiba? We come from San Francisco and decided to go to Vieques island on the same day after we arrived at San Juan airport (SJU) on 12/18th. Our flight arrival time is 1:00pm and the last passenger ferry according to your schedule is 3:00pm. Does that means it is unlikely we can take the ferry to Vieques island on the same day? Is it possible for us to take the cargo ferry (the 4:45 one)? We only have 2 carry on luggages.

Comment by Xiaoyu on 11 Dec 2018

At this time, I don't believe they are selling advanced tickets. But you could try....

Comment by Gwenn on 08 Dec 2018

Can you purchase the ferry ticket the day before you want to go? Or does it have to be the same day?

Comment by Lili Martinez on 08 Dec 2018

Yes, no problem.

Comment by Gwenn on 07 Dec 2018

My friend and I reserved the flight to Vieques but we wanna try the ferry as well. Can we buy the one-way ticket of the ferry from Vieques to Ceiba? Thanks

Comment by Echo on 07 Dec 2018

I don't think they do Veteran discount, but senior rate if 60 years or old is $1.

Comment by Gwenn on 05 Dec 2018

I am a veteran any discount ?

Comment by JOSE APNTE on 04 Dec 2018

Possible but not likely. Without checked bags and with a transportation (private taxi) already made (and maybe with ferry tickets purchased), it is possible. But that depends on no flight delays...from Maine, in winter.....

Comment by Gwenn on 03 Dec 2018

The ferry could sell out during holiday break, but you can choose different times (the really early ferry). Or you can easily take a catamaran/power boat trip to Culebra that includes food/drinks and snorkel gear. East Island, Culebra VIP or Tobias run boats from Fajardo to Culebra. Worry free that way!

Comment by Gwenn on 03 Dec 2018

My husband and I are traveling on Jan.31 from Portland, ME. We get into the airport at 1:21pm. Will we make the 3pm. ferry?

Comment by Peg Newberg on 03 Dec 2018

We planning to go to flamenco beach, culebra fora day,we would be staying in san juan. we would have rental car in san juan. can we get ferry at cieba or do they sell out? especially during christmas break. Whats the best way to get to flamenco back and forth from culebra ferry terminal?

Comment by Siddhartha Sharma on 02 Dec 2018

I don't think they are selling tickets ahead of time right now.

Comment by Gwenn on 01 Dec 2018

Hi. Can one buy the ferry ticks ahead of the date. We need to go dic 21 to culebra. Thanks.

Comment by Karim on 01 Dec 2018

Assuming no maintenance or weather issues, they should be working fine. I don't think there will be a lot of people trying for the 7pm cargo.

Comment by Gwenn on 28 Nov 2018

hi we planning to come on January 9th to PR. Our flight arrive 2.15pm, we want to go to Culebra. i know the latest ferry is 3pm. is it hard to get tickets to cargo ferry? in January is a lot of ppl going to Culebra?

Comment by Andzelika on 28 Nov 2018

yes. Happy Day!

Comment by Gwenn on 22 Nov 2018

Gracias Gwenn! I assume both the high speed cats and car ferries are running and if I miss the 3pm Ceiba cat there may still be a later car ferry to take... Happy Thanksgiving! Claus

Comment by Claus Janssen on 22 Nov 2018

Ferries have been ok lately, usually on time'ish (passenger ferry is on time except for if they need gas). They seem to only open ticket window 1 hr ahead, midday- about 1-1.5 hr ahead should be fine.

Comment by Gwenn on 21 Nov 2018

Hola Gwenn! I am planning to take the lancha or ferry to both islands next week, Nov27-30. Do you expect the boats to be running more or less on the schedules posted on this website? How early would you recommend arriving at the Ceiba terminal to park a car and buy a ticket for the miday boats? Gracias, Claus

Comment by Claus Janssen on 21 Nov 2018

There is really very little public transportation. If you have limited time and luggage, hiring a driver/taxi service would probably be the best route. About $80 for up to 5 people.

Comment by Gwenn on 15 Nov 2018

Not to the airport, but I believe there is a taxi/van that goes to Rio Piedras. You can get a bus from there other places, you would have to check the AMA bus map how you can get there...might be a couple transfers- there are only 2 buses that go near the airport. No luggage allowed and might take a number of hours.

Comment by Gwenn on 15 Nov 2018

How we could get to ferry from airport without car? And what about luggage?

Comment by Inna on 14 Nov 2018

Is there a bus or taxi from the Ceiba ferry to San Juan airport?

Comment by david F on 11 Nov 2018

There are Taxis there. Or you can call an Uber.

Comment by Gwenn on 10 Nov 2018

We will be returning from Culebra by ferry to Cieba. We have 5 in our family. Will there be uber drivers or taxis that can drive us back to San Juan form Cieba? Thanks

Comment by Rhonda on 08 Nov 2018

Yes, I believe there is now a publico that will go from Rio Piedras to Ceiba. You can translate this: https://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/locales/nota/fijantarifasparatransportepublicodesdeceiba-2450988/?fbclid=IwAR37x23gSBNWznXLzH5Y-u8kyglzWzkzuVZ9Rxe79urVGC0GyGDJJ37TJ5U. Looks like it is $9 The camp grounds are open and ok. I don't think all the food stands are open, but some are.

Comment by Gwenn on 07 Nov 2018

Pregunta #!1..From San Juan can I get a van taxi from Rio Piedras (like before Maria) to Cieba ferry terminal? The cheap way! #2...Is Playa Flamingo in Culebra OK for camping after Maria-- cleaned up, w/the food stands, etc.? Gracias...Juddio

Comment by Judd Beck on 07 Nov 2018

Yes, the ferry runs 365 unless there is unsafe weather issues. Same schedules every day including holidays. There is no route between the little islands. You would have to take ferry back to Ceiba and then get on another to Vieques.

Comment by Gwenn on 07 Nov 2018

Hello, Looking to confirm that there is a ferry running from Cieba to Culebra on December 25th (Christmas Day)? It says 7 days a week in the posted schedule but does not mention specifics around holidays. Also hoping to confirm if there is any access to Viesques from Culebra? Or do passengers have to take a boat all the way back to cieba before going between the two islands? Thanks!

Comment by Yolanda on 06 Nov 2018

Just during a port stop? No. Not enough time. Unless you want to fly over from Isla Grande, but it would be an expensive, short visit.

Comment by Gwenn on 03 Nov 2018

Can you please answer 2 questions for me? 1. Is it viable to do a day trip to Culebra from the cruise terminal in San Juan? 2. If you think it is, can you tell me the best way to get to the marina from the cruise terminal, approx cost and the ferry times in the morning? Warm regards

Comment by Lisa on 03 Nov 2018

Right now, it is tough- the path from parking to the dock is gravel, so getting to the ferry will be difficult. Once to the ferry, yes, they are accessible.

Comment by Gwenn on 01 Nov 2018

You will have to call them, or go in person and ask for specifics. I believe they mean they will credit you and just change your ticket to the new times you want (as long as they are available when you go to ticket window).

Comment by Gwenn on 01 Nov 2018

Are the new ferries from Ceiba handicap accessible? My aunt uses a motorized wheelchair and we want to make sure she would be able to use the ferry.

Comment by Lilibeth Martinez on 01 Nov 2018

Hello, a few weeks ago, I asked a local to buy a round trip advanced tickets from mainland to Vieques in December. The local said the new company will honor the old ticket. Is this true? It seems that the new schedule is different. If they do honor the old ticket, but how they deal with the time difference?

Comment by Yifei on 01 Nov 2018

I don't know! The passenger ferry will be reliable but the schedule isn't great for day trips. I assume by then they will have gotten the second cargo ferry working. That trip takes 1.5-2 hrs to get to Culebra....it is long. But it will give you a longer day at the beach. I assume get there 1.5 hrs before scheduled trip. I don't think they are selling advanced tickets.

Comment by Gwenn on 31 Oct 2018

I will be staying in Ceiba from 11/6/18 to 11/8/18 and plan I’m going to Culebra that Wednesday 11/7/18. What are the best times you suggest to travel to and from Culebra and what are the hours to purchase tickets? How early should I go to purchase a ticket? Should I purchase a day before? I will be traveling with my son and mother.

Comment by Eduardo Garcia on 31 Oct 2018

All ferries leave from Ceiba now to go to the out islands. None are in Fajardo anymore. The article has all the information I have at the moment. You have to go to Ceiba and buy tickets at the window. I suggest you buy a round trip ticket...decide what time/date you want to return.

Comment by Gwenn on 30 Oct 2018

Hi, I would like to go to Vieques Nov 1st- can you please let me know if we have to take the ferry/lancha on Fajardo or Vieques? I'm going with 2 more friends and we would like to take the 9am trip! Please advise so we can make the proper arrangements, thanks in advance!

Comment by Natalia on 30 Oct 2018

Currently, there is a cargo ferry (that can take passengers) that runs in the afternoon/evening. They will always have a ferry for people to get over there. I don't know if they will keep the exact schedule they have now, but we will post more once they have figured it out.

Comment by Gwenn on 27 Oct 2018

I am coming to PR for a week starting December 29th. Our flight gets in at 2:10pm on a Saturday and we have a ride to Ceiba to catch the ferry to Vieques. Will there be passenger ferries running late afternoon and evening once the tourist season hits? Right now they stop at 3pm.

Comment by meg r. on 27 Oct 2018

right now, ferries are in a transition (moving to new terminal in Ceiba). There is usually one that leaves at 8:15p (cargo ferry). I assume it will be the same.

Comment by Gwenn on 27 Oct 2018

Am A solo Musician, flying in from North Carolina. on Tuesday Night, Oct 30th My first time .to come to Puerto Rico my flight will land at 5:15 pm . and I have to get a car I rented it takes about 90 mins to get to Ceiba ferry, then I have to go to Vieques. is there a Ferry between 8 pm -9 pm to catch over there

Comment by chris mcpeck on 27 Oct 2018

yes. Same price- $5/day. Currently they are not open 24hrs, but hoping they increase their hours next week when cargo ferry moves there.

Comment by Gwenn on 25 Oct 2018

Is there parking for Ceiba ferry terminal ?

Comment by VINAY BHARGAVA on 24 Oct 2018

only via plane. For the ferry you have to go back to main island and get on another ferry.

Comment by Gwenn on 21 Oct 2018

Hi, we plan to travel from Vieques to Culebra. WIll there be a direct line between the two islands?

Comment by Kewen on 20 Oct 2018

At this time, no advances ticket sales. There should not be many lines for the ferries, as it is low tourist season. I would get there about 1.5 hours before sailing, but we will know more on how well the ferries are running once the dust settles on this new operation.

Comment by Gwenn on 17 Oct 2018

yes, there will be cargo ferries running out of Ceiba. Exact schedules have not been confirmed, but there will be evening runs.

Comment by Gwenn on 17 Oct 2018

Hi there, I'm looking to go to Vieques and Culebra around Thanksgiving. Is there an easy way to book tickets in advance? If not, how long before departure should I get to the Ceiba terminal? I read that there might be 2-3 hours line in summer and you even risk not to get on the ferry. Thank you, Marco

Comment by Marco on 16 Oct 2018

When the 28th of October comes, will there still be cargo boats that go to Veiques after 3:00 oclock from Ceiba that passengers that get in late from the airport can get on.

Comment by john avila on 16 Oct 2018

no reservations for the passenger ferry. Right now, it is slow, so no lines/no problems. Around the holidays, maybe lines. Return tickets should not be a problem.

Comment by Gwenn on 14 Oct 2018

Me and my friends will be staying in Fajardo and would like to sail to Culebra. Do we need reservations or can we get them that morning. Will there be a chance of getting just a return ticket if we fly over. Thank you

Comment by RANDELL CROUCH on 14 Oct 2018

OK Thank you for the information

Comment by ??? ??? ????? on 14 Oct 2018

you would have to contact the companies that run the ferries directly.

Comment by Gwenn on 12 Oct 2018

In looking for work have experience as a sailor please let me know how do I apply .

Comment by Raymond rojas on 11 Oct 2018

for passenger ferry- no.

Comment by Gwenn on 10 Oct 2018

yes, it will be. I am not sure when they will have that parking area completed, it wasn't ready on Sunday when we went.

Comment by Gwenn on 10 Oct 2018

is it ok to leave a rental car in the ceiba ferry parking lot for several days?

Comment by Mark And Janis Martin on 10 Oct 2018

Planning to travel on 10/12/2018,Ceiba-Vieques; are reservations required?

Comment by Lynn Clyde Daniel on 10 Oct 2018

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