Saigon to Vung Tau by Ferry Boat

Last updated December 2019 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle

This post was last updated 4 years ago. Please check the comments section for possible updates, or read more on my Updates & Accuracy page.


Taking the fast boat ferry between Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and Vung Tau is one of Vietnam’s most underrated journeys. It’s a fascinating voyage from the skyscrapers of downtown Saigon, along several busy rivers, through mangrove forest, and across open sea to Vung Tau (with a new, optional stop at Can Gio, near the river mouth). What it may lack in natural beauty, it more than makes up for in interest. Indeed, this journey is a more rewarding riverine experience than many Mekong Delta boat tours. What’s more, Vung Tau, especially during the week, is a very attractive, affluent, and peaceful seaside getaway. Even after the opening on an upgraded highway between Saigon and Vung Tau, taking the boat is still far more enjoyable, comfortable, and scenic. Going by bus, taxi, or motorbike is simply a means to an end; going by boat is an experience. Below is my full guide to the Saigon→Vung Tau→Can Gio Fast Boat Ferry.

Saigon→Vung Tau→Can Gio ferry boat, Vietnam

One of Vietnam’s most underrated journeys: the Saigon↔Vung Tau fast boat ferry route is a fascinating ride

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A new fleet of modern fast boats, operated by Greenlines, has replaced the old, characterful but unreliable hydrofoils that used to ply the route (one of which famously caught fire on the river in January 2014). At around 2 hours, journey time is comparable to going by road, although ticket prices are roughly twice the cost of the bus ride (but it’s well worth the extra expense). On this page I’ve written a full guide to taking the fast boat ferry between Saigon and Vung Tau (including the optional stop at Can Gio). I’ve organized this guide into several sections:

Click an item below to read more:


Saigon↔Vung Tau Ferry Route

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*Please support Vietnam Coracle: you can search ferry times, prices, and make bookings directly from this page by using the search boxes & links throughout this guide. If you make a booking, I receive a small commission. All my earnings go straight back into this website. Thank you.

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Ferry Operators & Contacts:

The Saigon↔Vung Tau ferry route is operated by Greenlines ( | tel: 0988 009 579), who run fast boats at least four times a day in both directions. 

The Greenlines website is very clear, well-presented, well-organized, and available in English and Vietnamese. Over the phone, staff are helpful but you may struggle to get clear information if you conduct the call purely in English (even though staff on the other end of the line do have some English, phone conversations are very difficult in a second language). Greenlines have ticket offices at the boat piers in Saigon and Vung Tau (and Can Gio). You can also find current times, prices, and book tickets through Note: sailing times and prices are subject to change, especially due to weather conditions. Always double check before you leave). 

Greenlines Saigon-Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

Greenlines is the the boat company operating daily ferries between Saigon & Vung Tau (and Can Gio)

*Please support Vietnam Coracle: you can search ferry times, prices, and make bookings directly from this page by using the search boxes & links throughout this guide. If you make a booking, I receive a small commission. All my earnings go straight back into this website. Thank you.

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Schedules & Sailing Times:

The Greenlines fast boat schedule is pretty simple and straightforward: there are four sailings a day in both directions on weekdays (Monday-Friday), with an extra two sailings a day on weekends (Saturday & Sunday). Journey time is 2 hours. [See the Greenlines website or for availability & booking tickets]:

  • SAIGON→VUNG TAU: 8.00am, 10.00am, 12.00noon, 2.00pm (plus weekends: 9.00am, 4.00pm)
  • VUNG TAU→SAIGON10.00am, 12.00noon, 2.00pm, 4.00pm (plus weekends: 1.00pm 3.00pm) 

Can Gio Extra Stop: Two of the daily sailings in both directions make an additional stop at Can Gio, which is at the mouth of the river as it empties into the sea. Journey time from Saigon to Can Gio is 90 minutes, and from Vung Tau to Can Gio is 30 minutes. Below are the two daily sailings that make the additional stop at Can Gio:

  • SAIGON→CAN GIO8.00am, 2.00pm (arriving Can Gio: 9.30am, 3.30pm)
  • VUNG TAU→CAN GIO10.00am, 2.00pm (arriving Can Gio: 10.30am, 2.30pm) 

Weather permitting, most Greenlines boats depart/arrive on-time. But sailing times are liable to change without notice if conditions are bad. If the weather has been particularly windy or stormy recently, check by phone or at the ticket office to make sure your boat is scheduled to leave on time.

Greenlines Saigon-Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

Greenlines boats sail 4 times a day in both directions with an additional 2 sailings on weekends

*Please support Vietnam Coracle: you can search ferry times, prices, and make bookings directly from this page by using the search boxes & links throughout this guide. If you make a booking, I receive a small commission. All my earnings go straight back into this website. Thank you.

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Ticket Prices & Booking:

Ticket prices are fairly reasonable for the 2-hour voyage and level of comfort, not to mention the experience of the journey. However, prices rise on weekends and public holidays. Below are the ticket prices at the time of latest update (December 2019), but for current prices and booking check & the Greenlines website:


  • Adult: 240,000vnd (weekends: 280,000vnd | holidays: 320,000vnd)
  • Adult over 62 years: 170,000vnd (weekends: 240,000vnd | holidays: 260,000vnd)
  • Child 6-11 years old: 120,000vnd (weekends: 150,000vnd | holidays: 180,000vnd)
  • Child under 6 years old: free
  • Bicycle: 100,000vnd (motorbikes are not allowed)


  • Adult [Saigon→Can Gio]: 170,000vnd (weekends: 220,000vnd | holidays: 240,000vnd)
  • Adult [Vung Tau→Can Gio]: 110,000vnd (weekends: 120,000vnd | holidays: 140,000vnd) 

Tickets can be booked online via or the Greenlines website up to a day before departure. Otherwise, you can book by phone (0988 009 579), or at the Greenlines ticket offices at the ferry piers in Saigon, Vung Tau and Can Gio. Generally, it’s not necessary to book in advance, unless you’re travelling on a weekend or public holiday (and maybe a Friday, too). However, it’s still a good idea to book your ticket a day before departure, especially if you have an appointment to keep.

Greenlines Saigon-Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

Tickets can be booked online, over the phone, or in person at the ferry piers in Saigon & Vung Tau

*Please support Vietnam Coracle: you can search ferry times, prices, and make bookings directly from this page by using the search boxes & links throughout this guide. If you make a booking, I receive a small commission. All my earnings go straight back into this website. Thank you.

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Departure & Arrival Ports:

The arrival and departure ports in Saigon and Vung Tau have changed since the days of the old hydrofoils. In Saigon, boats depart from Bach Dang Pier, in downtown District 1; in Vung Tau boats leave from the Ho May Tourist Pier, just west of Front Beach (Bãi Trước); and in Can Gio boats depart from the pier northwest of town. Taxis and motorbike taxis meet the boats at all ports:

Greenlines Saigon-Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

SAIGON PORT: All fast boats to Vung Tau (and Can Gio) arrive/depart from the Bach Dang Pier in downtown Saigon. Located right in the heart of the city, the Bach Dang Pier should be easy to find. However, make sure you go to the Bach Dang Fast Boat Pier (Bến Tàu Cao Tốc Bạch Đằng), not the Bach Dang Waterbus Pier (Ga Tàu Thủy Bạch Đằng). It doesn’t really matter, because the two piers are only a hundred meters or so apart, but that could make all the difference if you’re in a rush to catch the ferry. At the ferry terminal, you’ll find the Greenlines ticket kiosk. There’s a decent cafe on the pier where you can wait with a coffee or juice before departure time. From the pier, the views upriver back towards District 1 and Binh Thanh are impressive.

Greenlines ferry at Bach Dang Pier, Saigon, Vietnam

From Saigon, Greenlines boats depart from the Bach Dang Pier in downtown District 1


VUNG TAU PORT: Boats arrive/depart from the Ho May Tourist Pier, also known as Hòn Rù Rì harbour. This port is at the northern end of Bãi Trước (Front Beach), beneath the green slopes of Núi Lớn (Big Mountain) and the grand, French colonial Governor General’s House. Boats dock at the end of a long pier, which doubles as a restaurant and cafe. A handful of taxis meet the boats, or you can walk along the pleasant seafront road to the waterfront cafes and hotels. The Greenlines ticket kiosk is located at the port entrance, on Tran Phu Street.

Greenlines ferry at Ho May Pier, Vung Tau, Vietnam

In Vung Tau, Greenlines boats dock at the Ho May Tourist Pier, just west of the Front Beach (Bãi Trước)


CAN GIO PORT: The fast boat ferry port in Can Gio is a 5-minute drive northwest of the main town. It’s a fairly quiet place with a few food and drink shacks and a collection of wooden fishing boats and patrol ships floating on the muddy water, sheltering among the reeds.

Greenlines ferry port at Can Gio Pier, Vietnam

Can Gio Port is an inlet off the main river, filled with wooden fishing boats

*Please support Vietnam Coracle: you can search ferry times, prices, and make bookings directly from this page by using the search boxes & links throughout this guide. If you make a booking, I receive a small commission. All my earnings go straight back into this website. Thank you.

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The Boats:

Unlike the old hydrofoils – which looked pretty worn and forlorn – the new fast boats operated by Greenlines are clean, and, on the surface at least, well-maintained. All Greenlines vessels are painted blue and white. The crafts look quite smart from the outside, with pointy hulls and a speedy, aerodynamic appearance.

Greenlines Saigon-Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

Soviet-era hydrofoils on the Saigon-Vung Tau route have been replaced by a fleet of modern fast boats

Boats are boarded at the stern, where there’s a decent covered deck with a bench and also two clean toilet cubicles. If, like me, you love boat journeys, then you’ll probably find that you spend most of the voyage sitting out on this back deck, watching the shipping and scenery pass by. But sometimes staff don’t allow passengers on deck, presumably because of rough conditions.

Greenlines Saigon-Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

Best seat on the boat: all ferries have a covered back deck on which to sit out and enjoy the scenery

However, inside things are just as good. A surprisingly wide, high-ceilinged, bright and clean cabin seats around 50-75 passengers. There are two or three rows of soft, coach-style seats with plenty of leg-room. The cabin is air-conditioned to a reasonable temperature (not freezing cold as on some ferries in Vietnam). The windows are very large so you can enjoy the passing scenery from your seat. There’s even WiFi available. Complimentary refreshments include water, coffee and a cake. As well as that, there’s a little bar at the front of the cabin, selling pot noodles and soft drinks. The majority of passengers are foreign travellers, expats, and Vietnamese holidaymakers. Staff are young, quite friendly and polite. There are electrical sockets to plug your gadgets into, and there’s on-board WiFi, but it’s not that strong.

Greenlines Saigon-Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

Inside, the cabin is large, bright and air-conditioned, and seating is comfortable, clean, spacious

On board ‘entertainment’ comes in the form of a TV which shows, depending on the whim of the captain, anything from terrible pop music to prank-style comedy to Vietnamese soap operas. But the volume is mercifully low (unlike the fast boats to Phu Quoc Island) so it doesn’t intrude into your headspace. It’s also good to bear in mind the reason for this entertainment: it’s not just to pass the time on a 2-hour journey; it’s also to offer a distraction from the waves, especially for Vietnamese passengers who commonly suffer from travel sickness.

Saigon to Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

On board entertainment comes in the form of TV shows & pop music, but it’s at a reasonable volume

Ever since one of the old hydrofoils caught fire on the river in 2014, forcing passengers to evacuate onto the muddy riverbank (which was the beginning of the end for those Soviet-era relics on this route), safety has been a major concern, both for passengers and ferry operators between Saigon and Vung Tau. In general, Vietnam has a pretty awful maritime safety record, but things are changing. Also, it should be pointed out that travelling between Saigon and Vung Tau by road is statistically far more dangerous than taking the boat. All Greenlines ferries have life vests under every passenger seat. During the voyage, two engineers are constantly opening up the hatches on the back deck to check the state of the engine. The barrier on the back deck is a little low and the latch to the boarding gate could easily come loose: don’t lean on it, and take extra care if you’re travelling with children. Seasickness shouldn’t be a problem for most people, because the majority of the voyage is on placid rivers, but the last 30 minutes crossing open sea can be quite bumpy.

Saigon to Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

Safety measures include life vests under every seat, life rafts & regular engine checks during the voyage

Lastly, these new boats are fast. Not 30 seconds after maneuvering out of port, the main engines power up and the boat ploughs its course, dodging all the other sluggish vessels on the river, churning up a silver-brown wake of river water and water hyacinths behind it.

Saigon to Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

The new boats are very fast and churn up a white wake which occasionally showers the back deck

*Please support Vietnam Coracle: you can search ferry times, prices, and make bookings directly from this page by using the search boxes & links throughout this guide. If you make a booking, I receive a small commission. All my earnings go straight back into this website. Thank you.

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The Voyage:

The swif-looking Greenlines vessel casts off from the Bach Dang pier right in the heart of downtown Saigon. The gleaming high-rises of Saigon’s District 1 tower above the water as the boat drifts onto the swell of the wide Saigon River.

Saigon to Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

The Saigon-Vung Tau ferry pulls away from the pier in District 1 with the city skyline behind

The city’s major waterway is a constant presence if you live in Saigon, but when you are actually on it, as opposed to just looking at it, it’s a totally different experience. Saigon appears serene; without the noise, heat, congestion, and pollution that blights it on street level: from the river, this is a calm, controlled, and even beautiful, city. The old ferry between District 1 and 2 used to provide a similar experience, but since that went out of service with the opening of the Thu Thiem Tunnel in 2011, the fast boat to Vung Tau is one of the few ways to see the city from the water.

Saigon to Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

Leaving the city in its wake, the fast boat picks up speed as it begins the 2 hour voyage to Vung Tau

Very soon after departure, the main engines kick in, the bow lifts up, and the speed picks up. The boats are seriously fast, and if you sit out on the back deck (which I tend to do for the duration of the voyage, if staff allow it) you’ll be sprayed intermittently by cooling showers of river water.

Saigon to Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

When the engines power up the boat churns the water white, spraying the back deck with river water

The Saigon skyline recedes, very quickly, into the distance; disappearing around a bend, reappearing on the horizon, then fading out of sight again as the boat moves through a chicane of meanders. These bends make the journey immediately disorienting: Saigon landmarks, such at the Lotus Building (the Bitexco Tower) and the gleaming spire of Landmark 81 keep popping up to the east then to the west; behind the boat then in front of it, then disappearing altogether. It’s impossible to get your bearings.

Saigon to Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

A chicane of meanders on the Saigon River makes the journey immediately disorienting

Sailing downriver, the skyscrapers of downtown give way to the sprawling, apartment-filled suburbs, and the Saigon docks which line the riverbanks for many kilometres. It’s fascinating to watch as the boat dodges all the different kinds of shipping: slipping between the bows of giant container vessels and freight ships, tugs and barges, fishing boats and canoes, tankers and warships.

Saigon to Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

Watching all the different boats on this increasingly busy shipping lane is a lot of fun

After passing beneath the soaring blade of concrete that is the Phu My Bridge, the boat veers right and joins the wider waters of the Dong Nai River. Continuing southwards into the Soai Rap River, the banks expand ever further apart, until they must span at least a couple of kilometres. Container ships are more numerous here but they’re made to appear small on the mighty, muddy river.

Saigon to Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

Passing under the Phu My Bridge, a soaring blade of concrete over the Saigon River

With Saigon now out of sight, industry takes over. Warehouses, factories, oil depots, cement plants, coal, gas, wood, metal: the brawny industrial arm of the southern hub and all of the boats that supply it. It’s an utterly compelling sequence, so much so that you won’t want to sit down, go inside, or take your eyes off it for one minute for fear of missing something.

Saigon to Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

The brawny arm of the southern industrial hub: ships supply factories along the river banks

At the confluence of the Soai Rap and Long Tau rivers, an enormous new bridge is under construction. The fast boat continues straight ahead, due south on the Long Tau River. From here, greenery begins to colonize the riverbanks: concrete becomes a rare sight, small wooden fishing boats cast their nets into the wide waters, and the sky looms large over the flat expanse of boggy, delta land.

Saigon to Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

Eventually, greenery takes over the riverbanks and industry fades away

In order to avoid a detour on the Long Tau River, the fast boat takes a shortcut through a narrow channel lined with mangrove. This is a tight waterway, not big enough for larger ships. The banks are close together and the distinctive splayed roots of the mangrove trees are clearly visible. Suddenly, after all the urbanity and industrial activity of the first half of the journey, it’s now easy to imagine yourself sitting on the back of the boat in Apocalypse Now as it winds its way into the jungle, ever closer to Colonel Kurtz. The scenery is exotic and atmospheric. However, I’m not sure how environmentally sound it is. Mangrove are supposed to be one of the major lifelines for Vietnam if it is to avoid sinking into the ocean in the future. Their roots help anchor the land, which, in these swampy, delta regions, is nothing more than mud and silt. The waves from the wake of the fast boats surely can’t do any good to the stability of the mangrove trees.

Saigon to Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

A narrow channel provides a shortcut through mangrove forests and small fishing communities

After rejoining the meandering arm of the Long Tau River, the Phu My Hills rise to the northeast. The water is brackish here: the colour changes, becomes lighter; the surface becomes ruffled as the wind picks up, and the banks are wider apart. The boat is nearing the mouth of the river. But before reaching the open sea, the boat may pull into the docks at Can Gio (if you’re travelling on one of the two daily sailings that include Can Gio).

Saigon to Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

Nearing the river mouth, the water becomes brackish & choppy, & large ships dwarf fishing boats

Out onto the open sea, rainy season clouds mushroom above the waiting container ships, threatening Vung Tau with a storm. The sea is rough and, for the first time, you can feel the vessel rising and falling with the swell. The air is clearer, saltier; the sky is bigger, the light sharper, the humidity lower – it’s hard not to get excited as you approach the rocky promontory under which the white structures of Vung Tau glint in the sun.

Saigon to Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

Out on the open sea it’s cooler & brighter, and the excitement builds as the boat approaches Vung Tau

Through the increasing amounts of spray on the back deck, Vung Tau’s skyline comes into view: high-rise hotels along the seafront, red-roofed villas crawling up the hillside. It looks like an island in the East Sea, surrounded by boats of all shapes and sizes, including oil rigs, which have played their part in making this province one of the wealthiest in the country.

Saigon to Vung Tau ferry boat, Vietnam

Vung Tau seen from the sea is a collection of hotels and houses at the bottom of Big Mountain (Núi Lớn)

It’s an exhilarating journey, but when the boat docks below Big Mountain (Núi Lớn) and the engines are cut, all that remains is the searing tropical heat and the sound of the sea lapping the concrete pier. It’s time to make your way along the seafront road for a coffee or settle into one of Vung Tau’s harbour-view hotels, like Leman Cap Resort, for a relaxing mini-break.

Vung Tau, Vietnam

These days Vung Tau is a very pleasant place for a relaxing mini-break by the sea

Disclosure: I never receive payment for anything I write: my content is always free & independent. I’ve written this guide because I want to: I like this ferry route & I want my readers to know about it. For more details, see my Disclosure & Disclaimer statements here

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Leave a Comment

Questions, updates and trip reports are all welcome. However, please keep comments polite and on-topic. See commenting etiquette for details.

  1. Phil says:
    February 24, 2024 at 9:46 PM

    Hi. Totally enjoyed your piece on the Greenlines Ferry. Bravo.
    Do you know if your allowed to take luggage on the ferry?
    I will be coming from airport with a suitcase and backpack.
    Thanks so much.

    1. Tom says:
      February 27, 2024 at 12:28 AM

      Hi Phil,

      Yes, you can take luggage on the ferry.



  2. Rod says:
    January 30, 2024 at 5:44 AM

    Do you have to sit inside the boat on transit , or are you allowed to be on the back deck to observe and take photos

    1. Tom says:
      January 30, 2024 at 11:36 AM

      Hi Rod,

      The answer to your question is in the guide and photos on the page above. Normally, you can stand out on deck during most of the voyage, except during rough weather. See the guide for details.



  3. Terri Schuyler says:
    November 19, 2023 at 4:34 PM

    Hi Tom, do you know if bicycles are allowed on this ferry? TIA

    1. Tom says:
      November 20, 2023 at 2:56 AM

      Hi Terri,

      There’s information about bicycles in this guide – just search the page for ‘bicycles’.



  4. Axel says:
    March 3, 2023 at 4:50 AM

    Hi Tom,
    Thanks for all the helpful info i found on your website and one short question: Are there any boats i can go on with my motorbike to Sai Gon? I dont mind which kind of boat. I take whatever i get.

    Kind regards

    1. Tom says:
      March 3, 2023 at 1:10 PM

      Hi Axel,

      Not all the way to Saigon, but you can take your motorbike on the Can Gio-Vung Tau ferry.



      1. Axel says:
        March 7, 2023 at 4:40 AM

        I meanwhile made it 😉

        Another question you might know:
        If i take the ferry to Vung Tau at 2:00pm, do i get the ferry back to Saigon at 4:00pm?
        I dont want to get stranded in Vung Tau 😉

        Kind regards

        1. Tom says:
          March 7, 2023 at 5:42 AM

          Hi Axel,

          I don’t really understand what you mean. If you take the ferry from Saigon to Vung Tau at 2pm, you will arrive in Vung Tau at about 3.30pm, so if you take the ferry back to Saigon at 4pm, you will only have 30 minutes in Vung Tau!

          I suggest you take an earlier boat to Vung Tau if you only want to spend one day there.

          For current schedule, please look at the Greenlines website.



          1. Axel says:
            March 7, 2023 at 7:57 AM

            I read that the ferry needs 2 hours. In that case it would have been not sure to get the boat to go back.
            Now its clean, thanks

  5. Rebekah says:
    February 12, 2020 at 7:08 AM

    Just took the ferry from HCMC to VT today and they operated the boat out of Ga Tàu Thủy Bạch Đằng, not out of Bến Tàu Cao Tốc Bạch Đằng. Not sure the reasoning, but a bit unexpected and we had to rush back to the other pier (as you said, they aren’t far from each other thankfully!).

    This might be a new change, but regarding bicycles and motorbikes, the tickets and in person state that they are prohibited, but maybe that can be worked around still (it didn’t impact me, but I see a lot of people ask about it).

    Also, by booking 1+ day before, tickets were discounted by about 20,000 each.

    1. Tom says:
      February 12, 2020 at 3:55 PM

      Hi Rebekah,

      Thanks for the info and updates. That’s strange that they used the other boat station today – I wonder if that’s going to be permanent.

      Motorbikes are never allowed, but bicycles should be, as long as the boat isn’t too full.


  6. Jake says:
    December 22, 2019 at 11:04 AM

    Very helpful post that I used to sort out my trip down to Vung Tau. I found it a very comfortable and efficient service on Greenlines. I was also surprised at how pleasant Vung Tau was. An attractive place with friendly people and good hotels, restaurants and cafes. A perfect break from the bustle of HCMC.

    1. Tom says:
      December 22, 2019 at 1:01 PM

      Hi Jake,

      Yes, I agree. And I’m glad you used this ferry route too and found it to be a rewarding experience and means of transportation.


  7. Greg Wiseman says:
    December 22, 2019 at 4:19 AM

    I see there is now a Vung Tau – Con Dao ferry. It leaves from the old ferry port. Information from the desk was a little scant!

    1. Tom says:
      December 22, 2019 at 12:59 PM

      Hi Greg,

      Yes, there’s always been a ferry service between Vung Tau and Con Dao, but now it’s a new, super fast boat service: it’s operated by Phu Quoc Express (or Con Dao Express) who use modern catamarans to make the daily journey in just over 3 hours, compared to the old ferries which took over 10 hours.


  8. Justin Stubbs says:
    June 24, 2019 at 1:38 AM

    Hi Tom,
    We are a group of 7 adults and 6 children (age 8) planning on taking the ferry from Vung Tau to Ho Chi Minh.
    Could you please advise:
    – How rough is the open water around Vung Tau and how long does it last as we are concerned about Sea-sickness with the children. 6 sick children could destroy our (and other passengers) experience.
    – Could we buy food and drink on-board or can we take our own (including a beer or 2)
    Kind Regards,
    Ps- Excellent Guide

    1. Tom says:
      June 25, 2019 at 2:43 AM

      Hi Justin,

      There’s some food and drink on-board: snacks and soft drinks and possibly beer – but I can’t remember for sure.

      Of the 90-minute journey, only about 20 minutes is on open water. It’s usually not too rough, because when the waves are big, the boats don’t run. However, I can’t vouch for how the seas will be at a particularly time of year.

      If you’re really concerned about the seas, you can take a bus to Vung Tau instead. You can also check the sea conditions on the day before you sail.

      I hope this helps,


  9. Patrick says:
    March 13, 2019 at 2:38 AM

    Hi Tom,
    First please allow me to add my thanks to the list for this informative and inspiring post.
    From my own brief bit of research it looks like Greenline is now using new boats – catamarans – compared to the boats you describe above. Have you been on these? My main question is whether there is much ‘outdoor’ seating or standing area. Like you, I love a boat ride and love to be in the fresh air taking in the view. It’s just a bit hard to tell from the photos on the Greenline website if there’s space at the back (or elsewhere) where passengers are allowed to sit/stand for the journey.
    On the plus side, the seat map for these new boats shows a little bar in the cabin!
    Any info on first hand experience on the new boats would be much appreciated.

    1. Tom says:
      March 13, 2019 at 6:21 AM

      Hi Patrick,

      Yes, I think you’re right. As far as I know, there’s still a bit of space out back where you can be outside during the voyage (but probably not during departure and arrival).


      1. Patrick says:
        March 13, 2019 at 7:17 AM

        Thanks again, Tom, for your prompt reply. Recent reviews on other sites seem to confirm what you’ve said.

  10. Nathan Jones says:
    February 17, 2019 at 1:24 AM

    Hi Tom, loved this article.
    I’ve been living ‘around the world’ with my wife for two years or so. Generally we move every few months.
    I’ve lived in Saigon for a month and am thinking about coming back for another month, but we’ve found some nice apartments in Vung Tau as an alternate. In your opinion, would this be a worthwhile alternative to Saigon to ‘base’ ourselves in March for a month? We don’t require much: a decent food market, AC, decent wifi. I cook a lot so don’t need the standard Western restaurant/expat bar setup.
    I love Saigon, but the traffic and noise and pollution get old.
    Appreciate your thoughts.

    1. Tom says:
      February 17, 2019 at 10:46 AM

      Hi Nathan,

      That’s an easy question to answer: Yes, I would definitely think that finding a good apartment in Vung Tau as an alternative to Saigon is a good idea. Vung Tau is a very nice place to be these days, especially during the week (it can still get a bit busy and noisy on weekends).

      Good luck,


  11. Bob Vermeulen says:
    December 19, 2018 at 3:33 PM

    Dear Tom,
    Great site with best info. Been using your routes for ideas a lot on my last two trips. Allready done over 6000 km on gorgeous (back)roads. Next 10 week trip starting in 2 weeks time. At least another 4000 km ahead of me 🙂
    Do you know if local Can Gio – Vung Tau ferries take motorbikes for the short trip?
    Found this site with at end of article picture of sign near a ferry (Can Thanh – Vung Tau)
    January 2017 and january 2018 I was refused on Vung Tau Go Cong ferries.

    Tanks in advance

    1. Tom says:
      December 19, 2018 at 3:43 PM

      Hi Bob,

      Yes, as far as I know there’s still a daily ferry (leaves in the morning about 7am, I think) for motorbikes between Can Gio and Vung Tau. But the port in Vung Tau is Cat Lo, I think. Anyway, this was the case until at least 9 months ago, when I last did it.

      I hope this helps,


      1. Bob Vermeulen says:
        December 19, 2018 at 4:39 PM

        Thanks for your quick reply.
        Great…would be much better then heading back to HCMC and make the U-turn.
        I’ll give an update about current situation when I am in Can Gio

      2. r_travel_d says:
        January 2, 2019 at 12:28 PM

        I just returned from there. From Can Gio there is a ferry taking motorbikes.

        Twice a day.

        One leaves at 9:30 and the other at 13:30. I made pix to remember this.

        So appearently the other way around will also be twice a day. We took one at 8 from Vung Tau back to Can Gio. And arrived in time, ( do not listen to some people talking about “leaves at 9”.).

        My question is, if there is a ferry taking motorbikes, which goes directly from Saigon to Ving Tau, because next time I do not want to ride down the entire Can Go for the 4th time.

        1. Tom says:
          January 2, 2019 at 12:53 PM


          Thanks for the information about the ferry for motorbikes between Can Gio and Vung Tau.

          Sadly, there is no such ferry service between Saigon and Can Gio – only the fast boat, which can take bicycles (within limits) but not motorbikes.

          You can always take the Ocean Road between Saigon and Vung Tau instead – via the Cat Lai ferry at the right time of day it’s not such a bad ride.


        2. Bob says:
          January 3, 2019 at 3:21 AM

          I just did the Can Gio to Vung Tau trip on small boat. Left at 8.00 AM in Can Gio – Can Thanh town. Arriving Ben Do Ben Da wharf in Vung Tau. 1.30 hour trip.
          I’m not sure if the departure times precious poster quoted are right. 9.30 / 13.30 Departure times were quoted at the pier for the Greenlines fastferry…. not taking motorbikes.
          But definitely one small local departing at 8.00 am.

          1. Tom says:
            January 3, 2019 at 3:35 AM

            Hi Bob,

            Thanks for those details – that’s very helpful.


  12. Dave says:
    December 19, 2018 at 2:16 AM

    The ferry terminal has moved to the north side of the bridge, fyi

    1. Tom says:
      December 19, 2018 at 2:32 AM

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for the update. Which ferry terminal and which bridge are you referring to – in Saigon or in Vung Tau?


  13. Tom Jacobs, Bergen (NO) says:
    November 6, 2018 at 9:39 PM

    Hi, namesake.
    You provide delightful and interesting reading through your site.
    We will be visiting Vietnam with a party of six coming December ’18 to celebrate my lady’s 60th birthday. We will arrive at HCM airport from Hanoi at 12:00. According to the Greenline website, the last boat out on weekdays leaves at 14:00.
    – Is it feasible within two hours to retrieve our luggage, find a means of transport into town and arrive at the quay to catch that boat, as we would like to, or do we need to look for overland means of transport to Vung Tau?
    – To secure a place on the way back on a saturday, is it advisable to book return tickets?
    – Is it wise to calculate a trip time of two hours also from Vung Tau to HCM? In view of flying back to Hanoi and Hong Kong and Copenhagen and Bergen.


    1. Tom says:
      November 7, 2018 at 11:48 AM

      Hi Tom,

      That’s probably not quite enough time to make the boat – and it’s not worth the stress. So you will need to take a bus/minivan from Saigon to Vung Tau instead – this should be easy to find out online: they go all the time throughout the day. The journey takes about 1.5-2 hours

      Yes, you should definitely book your boat tickets in advance for the return trip, and 2 hours is what you need to allow. However, you should keep an eye on the weather forecast, because if the sea is rough, the boats won’t sail.

      I hope this helps,


      1. Lobo says:
        November 25, 2018 at 3:13 AM

        Hi mate is it possible to put motorbike on ferry from VT to HCMC?

        1. Tom says:
          November 25, 2018 at 6:36 AM

          Hi Shane,

          No, you can’t put motorbikes on the boat between Vung Tau and Saigon, only bicycles.


  14. Simon says:
    October 8, 2018 at 9:16 AM

    G’day Tom,
    Like everyone else I’ve been loving your guides. I used them for a few weeks cruising around the North.

    I’ve got a few updates on this one though. Stupidly I didn’t check the boat companies website themselves and tried to get the last ferry going off your times listed. It turns out these aren’t current anymore.

    But what’s more when I showed up to get on a Petro Pacific boat I was told they are no longer in business (I guess that’s why their website wasn’t loading!)

    Anyway now I’m on the uninspiring bus to Vung Tau but I’m looking forward to the boat on my way back.


    1. Tom says:
      October 9, 2018 at 1:36 AM

      Hi Simon,

      Thanks for the updates. Sorry you didn’t make the boat out there – it’s much better than the bus, in my opinion. I have been meaning to spend a day updating this guide – the boat also goes via Can Gio now.

      Anyway, I hope you enjoy taking the boat on the way back.


  15. Ludomir says:
    July 17, 2018 at 8:55 AM

    Hello Tom, Thanks to your blog I booked the ferry just for tomorrow. Do you know if there is any laguagge locker nearby the Greenlines dock in Saigon?

    1. Tom says:
      July 17, 2018 at 11:09 AM

      Hi Ludomir,

      I don’t know if there is, sorry. I think it’s unlikely, though. Perhaps you can arrange for your hotel in Saigon to look after it for the day?


  16. Claire says:
    June 9, 2018 at 4:48 AM

    Hi Tom, your blog is wonderful! Thank you so much 🙂
    We will be in Vung Tau at the end of October and I was wondering about the weather. As it is still rainy season does it rain non stop for long periods or is it more a tropical downpour that is over quickly?
    Also you talk a lot about street food. Is it generally safe for us to eat? Any tips on not getting sick?
    Many thanks

    1. Tom says:
      June 9, 2018 at 12:28 PM

      Hi Claire,

      The weather shouldn’t really be too much of a problem. Rainy season is usually fairly short but heavy tropical downpours; not full days of rain. However, you could get unlucky at be here during a typhoon, but October is similar weather conditions all over Vietnam so there’s not much you can do about that.

      Street food is a highlight of any visit to Vietnam. If you’re feeling cautious you could start out with one of my recommendations for bánh khọt (a famous Vung Tau dish) – check out my guide here. Then, hopefully this will make you more confident about street food and lead you to other culinary explorations.

      I’d strongly recommend Googling for any of the late Anthony Bourdain’s Vietnam shows – he was an advocate for street food, but particularly in Vietnam, and he opened the door to street cuisine for millions of travellers.

      I hope this helps,


  17. John Perrins says:
    February 18, 2018 at 1:30 AM

    Thanks Tom,

    Love the sound of this trip, such a wonderful way to travel. My sister and I will do this for sure in July.

    Thank-you again.

    1. Tom says:
      February 18, 2018 at 2:52 AM

      Hi John,

      Great. Before you plan your trip take a look at the Greenlines website for the latest information on sailing times etc.

      I hope you enjoy it,


  18. John Perrins says:
    February 18, 2018 at 1:01 AM

    Thanks Tom,

    This is fantastic information. I have a feeling my sister and I may do this in July. You’ve planted the seed.

    Cheers John

    1. Tom says:
      February 18, 2018 at 2:51 AM

      Hi John,

      Good to hear that. Yes, it’s a lot of fun.


  19. Marta says:
    January 5, 2018 at 3:39 AM

    Is it possible to take a motorbike onboad?
    My boyfriend got a back injury in Vung Tau and we are wondering what is the best way to get back to Saigon as we still have 2 motorbikes with us. (We tried travelling with them on a bus and were not so happy about how the stuff have treated them).
    Selling motorbikes will be for sure easier in HCMC, right?

    1. Tom says:
      January 5, 2018 at 3:47 AM

      Hi Marta,

      No, you can’t take motorbikes on the boat back to Saigon.

      Yes, selling the bikes in Saigon will be easier than in Vung Tau. However, your only option is to take the bikes on the bus or hire a vehicle to take you and the bikes back to Saigon. So you could try selling the bikes in Vung Tau instead – go to the backpacker bars and hostels and ask around. You could try asking at Ned Kelly’s Bar or Belly’s Bar to start with.

      Good luck,


  20. Tracy chester says:
    December 20, 2017 at 6:41 AM

    Hey! I’m not sure if my last comment got posted…?…but I am wondering if we can take our touring bicycles on the ferries? Thanks for the great blogs!!!! Take care!

  21. Tracy chester says:
    December 20, 2017 at 6:37 AM

    Thanks for all the great blogs…my husband and I will be bicycle touring in Jan/Feb 2018. My question is, can we take our bicycles on these ferries? Thanks again! Take care and happy travels!!!

    1. Tom says:
      December 20, 2017 at 7:05 AM

      Hi Tracy,

      Yes, you can take bicycles on the ferry from Saigon to Vung Tau (space permitting), but you should try to get to the dock early if you want to do that, and also go on a weekday not a weekend, because the boats won’t be too busy then, so there will be enough room for your bikes. I think the price is 100,000vnd per bike.

      I hope this helps,


      1. Tracy chester says:
        January 2, 2018 at 6:47 AM

        Thanks…. It seems like such an amazing place! We leave in 3 weeks.., looking forward to it!!! Happy New year! And thanks again!

  22. CTH says:
    December 4, 2017 at 4:15 AM

    Thanks for sharing this information, my girlfriend and I are going Vung Tau end of the month, it’s better than taking the bus/coach.

    1. Tom says:
      December 4, 2017 at 8:08 AM

      Great. I hope you enjoy it.


  23. Ferdie says:
    December 2, 2017 at 4:37 AM

    May I ask how about buying ticket walk thru?. without booking?. is it easy to buy ticket?.

    Thank You,

    1. Tom says:
      December 2, 2017 at 6:08 AM

      Hi Ferdie,

      Yes, it’s easy: you just go to the ticket kiosk at the pier and buy a ticket. It should be OK on weekdays, but on weekends there’s a chance it could be fully booked.

      I hope this helps,


  24. Pablo from Casasansan says:
    November 16, 2017 at 2:26 PM

    Very accurate and comprehensive information on the Greenlines services to Vung Tau, you may be able to bring a bicycle (good idea) but this is essentially a passenger vessel and there’s no cargo so no on the motorbike

    1. Tom says:
      November 17, 2017 at 12:22 AM

      Hi Pablo,


      Yes, that’s right: no motorbikes but bicycles are good to go. I suppose since the upgrade of the highway from Saigon to Vung Tau the feeling is there’s no need for a boat service that carries motorbikes. It’s a shame though.


  25. Lyriel says:
    July 19, 2017 at 8:05 AM

    Thanks for the updated info Tom! I’ve taken the old boat service down to Vung Tao and I heard that with some haggling, they would stow your bicycle. Do you think either of these new ferries would transport your bike?

    1. Tom says:
      July 19, 2017 at 8:52 AM

      Hi Lyriel,

      I suppose it’s possible they’d carry a bicycle (certainly not a motorbike) on this boat – perhaps if it was a very quiet day, and your bike could be easily disassembled so it wouldn’t take up too much room, and providing you manage to charm the right people 🙂

      But I wouldn’t count on it.


    2. Hamish says:
      November 5, 2017 at 1:53 PM

      Took the boat today. Greenlines charge 100,000 VND for a bicycle

      1. Tom says:
        November 5, 2017 at 2:16 PM

        Hi Hamish,

        Excellent. Thanks for the update.


  26. tourisnt says:
    June 2, 2017 at 8:07 AM

    If you sit outside you miss out on the Just For Laughs reruns!

    Having caught the GreenlinesDP ferry (I don’t even bother with the other one) yesterday from Vung Tau I can note that it left an hour later than originally scheduled and although I couldn’t confirm why I ‘suspect’ they may delay ‘sailings’ if they do not have enough passengers to make it profitable.

    A potentially interesting detail to add for passengers who never experienced the all encompassing pleasure of riding the old Soviet era hydrofoils that used to service the route is that two of them are docked (Accurate as of June 1 2017) about five minutes ‘sailing’ from the HCMC/Saigon dock and on the same side of the river (Starboard/right) as you leave the city. Photo opp!

    It may also be worth noting that the boarding dock and the ferries are not at all handicap friendly and that you should probably avoid the Saigon Tours taxis at the HCMC/Saigon dock. Oh, and if you like Just For Laughs …

    1. Tom says:
      June 2, 2017 at 8:20 AM


      Yes, the Just For Laughs reruns are yet another good reason to sit outside on deck! 🙂

      I’m not sure they delay the boats if there’s not enough passengers – on one sailing I was the only passenger on board at it sailed on time. But it’s possible.

      Good point about disabled access.


  27. David Roberts says:
    May 25, 2017 at 5:39 AM

    Fantastic website. Used it extensively for a tour of the north-east last year. Memorable trip. Can you take a motorbike on the Saigon to Vung Tau ferry and if so, do you know the current one-way cost? Many thanks for your invaluable advice and experience,

    1. Tom says:
      May 25, 2017 at 5:48 AM

      Hi David,

      Thanks, it’s great to hear you like my site.

      Sadly, no you can’t take a motorbike on the Saigon-Vung Tau ferry. But you can always rent a motorbike once you are in Vung Tau.

      I hope this helps,


  28. An Nguyen says:
    May 24, 2017 at 4:30 PM

    Hi Tom,
    Thank you for creating such a wonderful web site about Viet Nam. I have spent all my spare time in the last two weeks reading your articles, and learning much about the country that I had left behind more than 30 years ago.
    I am planning a trip to visit VN in July this year. While being there, one of the experiences I would like to have is to take this boat trip between HCM city and Vung Tau. However, a friend of mine told me that these services got shut down as of Jan 2017. Is that true? How long ago did you take this trip?
    Thank you in advance for any information that you can give me.
    An Nguyen.

    1. Tom says:
      May 25, 2017 at 12:46 AM

      Hi An Nguyen,

      No, the ferry boat between Saigon and Vung Tau is fully operational – this guide was written in May 2017. It’s a lot of fun. All the information you need is on this page. The journey is a lot of fun.

      I hope this helps,


  29. Darryl Learhinan says:
    May 14, 2017 at 9:00 AM

    Enjoyed the trip on the ferry back in Feb ,magic

    1. Tom says:
      May 14, 2017 at 2:02 PM

      Good to hear that, Darryl.