The question deserves to be asked because, apart from the homepage, the rest of this site must date back to the 2000s.
There are so many ferries to Cozumel and Isla Mujeres that most people just show up at the port and ask “which boat leaves first”. The rates are the same for all companies. No stress!
However, I have to be on Cozumel Island at a specific time and since it’s Christmas time, I prefer not to miss my ferry and have to cancel my trip. Contrary to what the Internet says, it is possible to buy tickets online, and even from abroad.
However, I had to tear my hair out to book ferry tickets on an absolutely not user-friendly site of the Ultramar Ferry company. So that no one would ever tear their hair out again, I wrote this article, hoping it will help you.
The official site, translated into English, is: https:
//www.ultramarferry.com/enmais. By making the reservation and paying online, you will be redirected to another site: https://www.priceres.com/ultramar/…
It’s normal, don’t worry!
This company offers direct ferries from/to Playa del Carmen <=> Cozumel and Cancun <=> Islas Mujeres.
For those who wish to buy combined tickets to go from Cancun => Cozumel, or from Playa del Carmen to Islas Mujeres, they sell 2 other types of tickets :
- Island Express: which includes the trip (Return): Playa del Carmen <-> Cancun by car and Playa del Carmen <-> Cozumel by ferry
- Island Hopper : several options, but the most complete one (Island Hopper + transfers) includes the round trip to Playa del Carmen <-> Cancun by car and Playa del Carmen <-> Cozumel by ferry and Cancun <-> Islas Mujeres by ferry
Even if you already know what you want, every “book now” or “reservation” link brings up this disgusting “TOURS” pop-up. At first, I ignored it, thinking it was a bug. I buy ferry tickets, no tours ! But yes, I do, you have to “search tours by destination or name”.
To facilitate your task, indicate your departure city (I know, the indication puts “destination”, but in the field it’s marked “tour departure place”, that’s why this site is pourrave).
This is where you can choose your more complicated tickets (Express, Hopper etc.). If it’s to buy a simple Playa del carmen crossing ticket => Cozumel, this is the 1st option at 11 dollars that you have to choose.
You will arrive on a page where they explain what it includes.
In this case, my choice was a crossing (one way only) from Playa del carmen to Cozumel. If you realize that you are going the wrong way, it is always possible to change direction by checking “Cozumel – Playa del carmen – Single”.
You can add options such as : Round trip open tickets (any route and time) at any time. Or Round trip open tickets (any route and time) in First Class at any time …
In reality, you earn 20 Mexican pesos (€0.95) by buying the return ticket right away (instead of buying the round trip separately); but your seat isn’t reserved at all (the schedules are flexible for this ticket). As I absolutely have to take the ferry at 8am sharp, I prefer to secure my seat.
So to secure my place, just click on “check availability”. The title is misleading because I reserve a seat at a specific date and time, I’m not there just to check the availability of my ticket on such and such a date lol. So, by clicking on it, I can finally choose my date and time of my crossing and my seat will be confirmed and secured at the very moment of payment. Yesss!
The amount is to be paid in USD. So if you have a card that charges you a fee for payment in foreign currency, be careful. I was able to pay with my international Revolut card (and free) without any problem (you can ask for a free one here). There is no 3D Secure but the site is in https and there is a small “padlock” displayed on the address bar.
You will then receive an email to print your ticket (a poor ugly html page) and you have to be at the port 30 minutes in advance.
From Cancun to Islas Mujeres by ferry
For the trip Cancun => Islas Mujeres, the ticket purchase will be about the same, you just have to pay attention to the port from where you intend to leave (the closest to your hotel in Cancun wholesale). That’s it!
There, I hope I have explained it well. If you’re looking for a hotel, in Playa del Carmen, we found a well rated hotel, not too expensive (32€ even at Christmas time) with a nice swimming pool on the rooftop, a few minutes from the beach, it’s La Galeria by Bunik(link Booking)
If you want more information about Mexico, access our articles here