Heading to Tioman Island? Lucky you!
In this article, I share exactly how to go from Mersing to Tioman Island so you have no reason to worry about how to make this straightforward journey!
Coming from elsewhere? Find our full guide for how to get to Tioman Island from anywhere here.
Why Go From Mersing To Tioman Island?
Mersing is the main jumping off point from the mainland of Malaysia to Tioman Island.
There are no longer flights to Tioman Island and the only other alternative to a ferry from Mersing to Tioman Island is to take a ferry from Tanjung Gemok instead.
However, this is less convenient if you are coming from Johor Bahru or SIngapore as it’s a further 40 minute drive up the coast. There are also more options for a ferry from Mersing Jetty to Tioman Island. You can find more details about getting from Tangjung Gemok to Tioman Island here.
The Mersing to Tioman duration for a ferry is 1.5 – 2 hours depending on exactly where you will be dropped off on Tioman Island and sea conditions. It took us 1.75 hours from Mersing to Tekek.
Mersing To Tioman Ferry
The ferry Mersing to Tioman leaves from the Mersing Jetty. You will need to pay a visit to the opposite Mersing Harbour Centre first.
From here, you can buy or collect tickets and you also need to pay a Marine Park entrance fee (currently RM30 adults/RM15 kids – cheaper for Malaysians). While I read there is also a Johor National Park fee at RM20 for adults and RM10 for kids (cheaper for Malaysians), I never came across this in reality.
Even if you pre-bought your ferry ticket, you will need to pay the Marine Park entrance fee.
Some buses may drop you off at the jetty area if you ask, but otherwise you may find yourself in the Mersing Bus Terminal. This is only a kilometre’s walk or a cheap taxi ride.
It’s recommended to arrive 90 minutes beforehand. If it’s not at peak time, I think 60 minutes is fine. If you have awhile to wait, there is a food court just outside the Mersing Harbour Centre. There are stalls to buy snacks at the jetty too.
The easiest way to explain how to do all of this is via photos. It can seem complicated, but it’s really not. The best part is that any time we looked lost or just walked past some people, they would ask us what we were looking for and point us in the right direction.
Also note that when I read similar articles to this online, they had some extra steps. They are out of date and the process is somewhat simplified now to the following.
Checking In For Your Ferry From Mersing Jetty To Tioman Island And The Process Of Getting There
Step 1: Start at the Mersing Harbour Centre. Buy/collect your ticket.
There are two entrances at this centre. At the one pictured above, you will find yourself walking past lots of shops. If you are here, keep going and turn right at the end to see the following view. If you enter at the other door, you should be at the ticket offices straight away.
Step 2: Buy or collect your ticket. There are lots of signs to make it obvious which counter to go to. If you need to buy tickets, the screens show the next ferries and whether there are still tickets available.
There is an exception to this – if your resort is supplying your ticket or you bought through a third party, you may need to go to their desk first. All counters are numbered, so it’s just a matter of making sure you know the number of their counter and going to that first. If you aren’t sure, there are many people around who will help.
We booked through our resort, Berjaya Tioman, so we went to their counter just opposite this and they got our tickets from the ticket counter for us.
Step 3: Pay the Marine Park entrance fee.
This is at counter just opposite where the ticket payment is and right by the door at counter 23.
Step 4: The next step is to be at the jetty where the ferry departs 30 minutes before to get your boarding pass.
The jetty is across the road from the Harbour Centre. It looks like this at the entrance.
Walk through and you will find the counter to get your boarding pass straight ahead. It only opens 30 minutes before the boat departs so no rush.
The area is small so you will work it out very quickly. I had read before going that there is a lot of hassle at Mersing but this was not my experience at all. No one hassled us and people were incredibly nice and helpful.
Step 5: Wait until your boat is ready for boarding. There is an area just after the boarding pass booth.
Step 6: Board the boat. This Is very straightforward. When you hop on, they will ask you where you are getting off and take your luggage.
Step 7: Grab a seat.
I would say the best ones are to the left from where you hop on but these fill up fast. We sat a half level down which is fine (pictured below) but you can’t see out windows unless standing so not great if you get motion sickness. The seats are narrow, but it’s comfortable otherwise.
Step 8: Get off when they call your stop. Everyone gets off the boat and then they will lift off all the luggage.
Once the boat from Mersing to Tioman gets there, it stops at quite a few villages along the western coast starting at the southern end and making its way north up the coast.
In order from first to last, these stops are Kampung Genting, Paya, Tekek, Air Batang (ABC) and Salang. If you are staying in one of these villages then get off at that stop. If you are going to Juara Beach, get off at Tekek and take a taxi. If you are staying anywhere else, check with your resort which is the best stop for you.
As mentioned previously, the Mersing to Tioman ferry travel time is 1.5 – 2 hours.
Bluewater Express takes a speed boat from Mersing to Tioman multiple times a day in season and once a day during the monsoon period.
They are only an average operator according to reviews but they are cheap at least! We found them very good and have no complaints. You can buy tickets here.
Mersing To Tioman Ferry Schedule
The Mersing to Tioman ferry schedule changes daily. Mersing Jetty is affected by weather and tidal conditions so at certain times of the day it’s not possible to launch from here. The schedules for the Bluewater Express Mersing to Tioman usually come out the middle of the month before. For example, if you are going to Tioman Island in August, the tickets will come online mid-July.
You can see the latest schedule by searching for your dates here once it is online.
The Mersing to Tioman ferry time can often change at late notice as well so it is worth checking the day before your journey or even the morning of for your exact departure time. It’s recommended to arrive at least an hour before your scheduled time even if you already bought tickets as you need to check in which can be time consumming.
Note that during the monsoon season, ferries can be cancelled or heavily delayed.
Ferry From Tioman To Mersing
The process of travelling from Tioman Island to Mersing is much more relaxed. I departed from Tekek and I just need to get my ticket validated at a ticket desk next to the entry to the waiting area.
It looks like this.
There is a small waiting area. We were called from here when the boat was ready for us to board. Once the boat took off, they checked our tickets. Someone behind me had somehow got through without a validated ticket and was able to buy a ticket on the spot.
The ferry follows the same route on the way back to Mersing but in the opposite direction. So it starts at Salang, continues on to ABC, Tekek, Paya and finally Genting before heading back to Mersing.
The schedule also varies with timetables coming out the middle of the month before. Usually, there are at least two ferries a day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon -outside the monsoon season but it does vary. See the times for your dates here.
The time it takes is the same as the Mersing to Tioman ferry duration at around 1.5 – 2 hours depending on where you are leaving from and conditions.
Mersing To Tioman Ferry Price
The standard fare starts ar RM35 for adults and RM30 for kids one way.
To find the latest ferry price from Mersing to Tioman or to book your ferry ticket from Mersing to Tioman, click here.
This is the easiest way to see the latest timetables and prices.
HOWEVER, note that timetables and tickets usually only come online the middle of the month before. Tickets do sell out regularly, particularly on weekends, so I highly recommend you book in advance as soon as they come online.
It’s quite straightforward to travel from Mersing to Tioman Island thanks to regular ferries. However, the time variations and delays can be frustrating. Hang in there though – it’ll all be worth it once you hit the beautiful shores of Tioman Island!
Plus, don’t assume this will even happen. It was storming when we left Johor Bahru for Mersing but the ferry was on time and there were no problems.
Sharon is an Australian who has fallen in love with Malaysia! She explores Malaysia multiple times a year, often with her kids, and has previously lived in Penang.