Soc Trang to Con Dao Express Ferry, Vietnam

Soc Trang→Con Dao Express Ferry

Last updated January 2023 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle

Tom, Vietnam Coracle

Tom Divers is the founder and creator of Vietnam Coracle. He’s lived, travelled and worked in Vietnam since 2005. Born in London, he travelled from an early age, visiting over 40 countries (he first visited Vietnam in 1999). Now, whenever he has the opportunity to make a trip, he rarely looks beyond Vietnam’s borders and his trusty motorbike, Stavros. Read more about Tom on the About Page, Vietnam Times and ASE Podcast.


The fastest, cheapest, most regular and reliable boat connection from the mainland to the islands, the Sóc Trăng→Côn Đảo ferry takes just 2 hours and sails at least once every day. There are two ferry operators on this route – Superdong and Côn Đảo Express – both with comfortable, modern fast boats connecting Trần Đề port in Sóc Trăng Province in the Mekong Delta with Côn Sơn Island in the Côn Đảo Archipelago. Sóc Trăng is off the beaten path and rarely on travellers’ itineraries, but it’s a fascinating and seldom-visited part of the Mekong. Travellers have the option to form a ‘Côn Đảo loop’ by taking the Sóc Trăng ferry in one direction and the Vũng Tàu or Cần Thơ ferry in the other. What’s more, the Sóc Trăng→Côn Đảo route is the only ferry crossing to the islands that allows motorbikes on board.

Soc Trang→Con Dao Express Ferry

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SOC TRANGCON DAO EXPRESS FERRY


Below is a complete guide to taking and booking the Sóc Trăng→Côn Đảo ferry, including a map and all relevant information for travellers. Remember that the ferry doesn’t depart from Sóc Trăng city; it leaves from Trần Đề port, about 35km east of Sóc Trăng. There are bus connections to Sóc Trăng city from all major towns across the Mekong Delta, and hourly connections from Saigon’s Miền Tây bus station (roughly 6 hours). From Sóc Trăng city to Trần Đề port, Superdong operates a shuttle bus for passengers (40 minutes). Note that the sailing schedule is subject to change due to sea conditions and demand.

CONTENTS:

Route Map

About this Ferry

Times & Prices

Booking Tickets

Departure & Arrival Ports

The Boats

The Voyage

Related Guides


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Thank you,
Tom


ROUTE MAP:

Soc Trang→Con Dao Express Ferry

View LARGER MAP

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About this Ferry:

The Sóc Trăng→Côn Đảo ferry is the shortest, most reliable and frequent crossing between the mainland and the archipelago. Although it’s now possible to take the ferry from both Vũng Tàu and Cần Thơ to the islands, the Sóc Trăng→Côn Đảo route was the first regular, commercial fast boat connection to the archipelago. There are now two separate ferry companies operating on the Sóc Trăng→Côn Đảo route: Superdong and Côn Đảo Express.

There is no doubt that the Côn Đảo Islands is one of Vietnam’s star attractions and everyone should visit as soon as possible, because it’s inevitable that change will come. Of course, you can fly to the islands: it’s quick and easy. But taking the ferry is much more of an experience. What’s more, arriving on the islands for the first time by boat at the beautifully situated port is very special. Furthermore, travelling to Côn Đảo via the Sóc Trăng ferry is the cheapest possible way to reach the islands. The proliferation of ferry connections to Côn Đảo over the last few years is testament to the archipelago’s rise in popularity. But, another reason is to facilitate travel to the islands when the airport closes for a major upgrade for several months in 2023. During that time, the ferries will be the only way for travellers to reach the islands.

Sóc Trăng is a fairly remote province in the east of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region. Few foreign travellers visit Sóc Trăng city: it’s off the beaten path. However, even further from the tourist radar is the small fishing village of Trần Đề, where the ferries actually depart from. Thus, taking this fast boat is an adventure: you’ll need to travel to, and overnight in, either Sóc Trăng city or Trần Đề village, both of which are interesting places, seldom-visited by foreign travellers. If, like me, you are someone who loves a good journey, this is the right way to reach the Côn Đảo Islands.

*Book ferry tickets directly from this page & help support my website. Use the Baolau.com search box below to book your ferry tickets on the Sóc Trăng→Côn Đảo route. If you make a booking, I receive a small commission. All earnings go straight back into this website. Thank you. Tom


Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
Ferry travel is fun travel

Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
The ferries are comfortable and modern

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Times & Prices:

Although the sailing schedule is more stable on this ferry route than any of the others to/from the Côn Đảo Islands, the frequency of sailings fluctuates according to high/low season and weather conditions. Broadly speaking, the calmest seas and the highest tourist season runs from April to September, during which sailings are frequent (at least once a day, sometimes twice). But, the roughest seas and lowest tourist season runs from October to March, during which sailings are reduced to one a day (usually just Superdong) or as few as 3-4 per week. Indeed, in very rough weather, sailings are cancelled completely. If this should happen, the ferry company will contact you. Remember there are two ferry operators on this route: Superdong and Côn Đảo Express. The boats have capacity for 300-450 passengers. Cars are not accommodated, but motorbikes and (as far as I know) bicycles are permitted on the Superdong boats only: prices depend of the bike model. Sailing time is between 2 hours to 2.5 hours. For up-to-date schedules, prices, and bookings check Baolau.com or the Superdong and Côn Đảo Express websites. At the time of research (January 2023) the schedule is as follows:

Sailing Schedule:

RouteDeparture Time
Trần Đề (Sóc Trăng)Côn Đảo6.00-8.00am
(high season=daily; low season=few times/week)
Côn ĐảoTrần Đề (Sóc Trăng)1.00-2.00pm
(high season=daily; low season=few times/week)

Ticket Prices:

Ticket TypeTicket Price
Passenger320,000-370,000vnđ
Motorbike150,000-250,000vnd (Superdong only)

*There’s also a VIP ticket option for a larger seat in a private cabin with more leg room (not worth the extra cost, in my opinion), and there are reduced rates for children, the elderly and passengers with disabilities. To check the latest schedule and prices use the search box below, go to Baolau.com, or check the Con Dao Express and Superdong websites.


*Book ferry tickets directly from this page & help support my website. Use the Baolau.com search box below to book your ferry tickets on the Sóc Trăng→Côn Đảo route. If you make a booking, I receive a small commission. All earnings go straight back into this website. Thank you. Tom


Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
Boarding the Superdong ferry at Trần Đề in the Mekong Delta

Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
On board the Superdong ferry

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Booking Tickets:

Booking tickets should be a fairly straightforward process. Travellers can book online or in-person. If travelling during the high-season months (April-September) or public holidays, try to book at least a few days or a week in advance, just in case tickets sell out. But, if travelling on a weekday during low-season (October-March), a day in advance should be enough.

Online: You can book tickets easily on Baolau.com or by using the search box below. Alternatively, go to the Côn Đảo Express or Superdong websites and book there. Both platforms support most forms of online payment.

In Person: Côn Đảo Express and Superdong have ticket offices at their respective ports in Trần Đề and on Côn Sơn Island (see my map). Superdong also has an office in Sóc Trăng city. In addition, many travel agents can sell you tickets for both ferry companies. Remember to bring your passport when making a booking.

*Tickets for motorbikes and bicycles can only be reserved when booking in person, but payment for motorbikes and bicycles is made at the boat itself. Passengers should arrive at the dock at least 30 minutes before departure, particularly if you have a motorbike, because the capacity for bikes is limited.

*Book ferry tickets directly from this page & help support my website. Use the Baolau.com search box below to book your ferry tickets on the Sóc Trăng→Côn Đảo route. If you make a booking, I receive a small commission. All earnings go straight back into this website. Thank you. Tom


Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
Buying tickets at the Superdong kiosk at Trần Đề port

Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
Ticket counter at the Superdong office in Sóc Trăng city

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Departure & Arrival Ports:

In Sóc Trăng Province, boats leave from the small and remote fishing village of Trần Đề. There are two separate ferry terminals; one for each ferry operator: Côn Đảo Express and Superdong. On Côn Sơn Island, Bến Đầm port is located in the southwest of the island: far from town, but utterly spectacular. However, this may change in the near future, because the new Bến Tàu Khách ferry port is scheduled to open some time in 2023, right on the bay that fronts Côn Sơn town – a more convenient arrival and departure point and equally scenic to its predecessor. See below for more details about all the ports and how to get there:


Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
At the Superdong ferry terminal in Trần Đề

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Trần Đề Port (Sóc Trăng)

A little fishing port on the Mekong River 35km east of Sóc Trăng city, Trần Đề doesn’t feel like a tourist transportation hub. The settlement is cleaved in two by a canal, along which the fishing fleet lies at anchor. The Côn Đảo Express terminal is to the north of this canal; the Superdong terminal is to the south of it.

Getting to Trần Đề Port: Trần Đề is far off the beaten path: at least 6 hours by road from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and 40 minutes from Sóc Trăng city. The latter is served by regular buses from Saigon, and there are several decent hotels near the Sóc Trăng bus station, such as Thuận Phát. From Sóc Trăng to Trần Đề, Superdong has a convenient and inexpensive shuttle bus (60,000vnd one-way), departing from the Superdong office in Sóc Trăng at 6.30am Otherwise, unless you have your own wheels, you’ll need to get a taxi from your Sóc Trăng hotel to Trần Đề (400-600,000vnd). Alternatively, you can overnight in one of several nhà nghỉ (local guest houses) in Trần Đề, most of which have simple, clean rooms for around 200-300,000vnd/night (see my map for specific suggestions). There’s plenty of street food available around the canal bridge in the mornings and evenings.

Superdong Terminal [MAP] Impressively modern and almost comedically large, the Superdong ferry terminal is a giant structure resembling a set of wings beneath which is a space of cathedralic proportions sheltering a ticket kiosk, lots of seating and a small cafeteria and shop. The entire complex is totally incongruous to the rest of its vicinity. There’s a long-stay parking lot next to the terminal building, which is useful for travellers on motorbike who don’t want to take their wheels with them to Côn Đảo and are planning to return from the islands on the same ferry route.

Côn Đảo Express Terminal [MAP] Under a large hanger to the north of Trần Đề town, the Côn Đảo Express ferry terminal is quiet and detached. The boats moor on a concrete wharf that’s shared with several large wooden fishing trawlers floating on the calm, chocolatey waters of the Mekong River. Although the port itself is very substantial, the ticket kiosk and refreshments stalls are rather small and ramshackle.

Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
The Côn Đảo Express ferry terminal at Trần Đề

Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
The enormous Superdong ferry terminal at Trần Đề

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Bến Đầm Port (Côn Sơn Island) [MAP]

Way down in the southwestern corner of Côn Sơn Island, Bến Đầm port is spectacularly located in a lagoon of blue water enveloped by jungle-clad hills. It’s a magical introduction to the Côn Đảo Islands. However, Bến Đầm is over 10km from Côn Sơn town, where most of the island’s accommodation is. Arrival and departure from the port is pretty straightforward, although it’s quite a long walk up/down the pier if you’re carrying a lot of luggage in the heat or rain. Taxis, motorbike taxis and electric buggies meet the boats. Prices for the ride along the stunning coast road to Côn Sơn town should be between 100,000-300,000vnđ depending on the transportation method and number of people. But, if you’ve booked a hotel in advance, they might be able to arrange a pick up for you (for an added charge). Alternatively, you can rent your own motorbike directly from the stores around the ferry terminal. There are snack shops clustered around the port entrance and an echoey ferry terminal with indoor seating and ticket counters. Overall, Bến Đầm port is functional but not really a place to linger. Just as well that the new ferry port will be opening soon (see below).

Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
The stunning natural harbour of Bến Đầm port on Côn Sơn Island

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Bến Tàu Khách (Côn Sơn Town) [MAP]

Scheduled to open in 2023, the new Bến Tàu Khách port is located right on the seafront of Côn Sơn town, at the centre of the east coast of the island. The port has been under construction for many, many years. Generally, this is good news for visitors, because the new port will be so much more conveniently located: walking distance from most of the accommodations on the island, which are clustered along Côn Sơn town’s pretty seafront road or quiet backstreets. However, the new port is a bit of an eyesore compared to the low-key, low-rise, colonial-era structures that characterize much of the rest of the town. Another concern might be that with more and more, bigger and bigger express boats arriving on the island, there’s a risk that relocating the port to the town might result in a rise in water pollution in this beautiful bay. Anyway, when it opens, ferries will dock at the end of a very long pier stretching into the sea with a stunning backdrop of mountains and jungle. The terminal building – a modern ‘wavy’ structure – will have seating, ticket kiosks and snack shops.

Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
The new, modern Bến Tàu Khách ferry terminal in Côn Sơn town

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The Boats:

The two ferry companies on the Sóc TrăngCôn Đảo route use different kinds of fast boats. Of the two, the Côn Đảo Express boats are bigger, more comfortable and spacious than the Superdong vessels. Although both boats are pretty much just as fast as each other, when the seas are rough (usually between November-March), the Superdong boats can be very scary, indeed. Having said that, the Superdong boats continue to sail throughout the rough season, unlike the Côn Đảo Express boats:


Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
View from the back deck of the Superdong ferry

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Superdong Ferry: As always with Superdong ferries throughout Vietnam, the boats are long, narrow vessels with two levels of indoor, air-conditioned, coach-style seating, and a fair amount of deck space at the stern. On board, the ferries are fairly modern, clean, and well-equipped, with space for over 300 passengers. Seats are soft, reclinable, and comfortable but the windows are quite small. There are toilets at the stern, which are kept reasonably clean, a handful of USB sockets to charge your phone, and even on-board Wi-Fi (although it is weak and unreliable). ‘Entertainment’ comes in the form of TVs suspended from the ceiling showing soap operas, martial arts movies, and game shows, but the volume is low and bearable. The back deck (closed for the first and last 20 minutes, or permanently closed in rough conditions) is quite spacious and great fun to be out on as the boat ploughs toward the Côn Đảo Islands. There’s even a little bar on deck serving cans of beer (great for your sea legs, no doubt), soft drinks, coffee, and light snacks. Life vests seem to be plentiful and staff are generally friendly and helpful.

Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
The Superdong ferry at anchor at Trần Đề port

Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
Out on the back deck on the Superdong ferry

Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
Seating inside the Superdong ferry

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Côn Đảo Express Ferry: A two-storey catamaran vessel painted red with white stripes, the Côn Đảo Express ferries are modern and striking. The boats have a capacity of up to 500 passengers in coach-style seating on reclining soft chairs over two decks. The seating is fine and reasonably comfortable, but legroom is dramatically decreased if/when the passenger in front reclines their seat back. There are four columns of seating, and although there’s nothing glamourous about the cabins, they’re spacious and not at all claustrophobic. The windows are large and the ceilings are high. Upstairs seating is preferable to downstairs, partly because there are fewer seats, and partly because upstairs passengers have easier access to the outside deck at the stern. A large but bare space, the deck provides some bench seating, fresh air, photo opportunities and relief for smokers. (It’s closed for 15 minutes after departure and before arrival, and during rough seats it remains off limits.)

The cabins are air-conditioned with a couple of widescreen TVs playing movies and pop videos, but the volume is kept at a mercifully reasonable level. Each row of seats has two electrical sockets to charge your phone or laptop. At the back of the cabins, the toilets are kept pretty clean, and the general level of cleanliness is fairly good. Also at the back is a snack station selling iced coffee, sodas and pot noodles.

Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
The Côn Đảo Express ferry at anchor at Trần Đề

Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
Passenger seating on the upper deck inside the Côn Đảo Express ferry

Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
Large windows and passenger seats on the Côn Đảo Express ferry

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The Voyage:

On the pier in the early morning in Trần Đề, there’s a pleasant sense of anticipation as passengers gather in the open-sided terminal building before departure. A fresh breeze blows off the river and the morning light is sharp and crisp. Of all the ferry routes connecting the mainland to the Côn Đảo Islands, this is the one least used by foreign travellers, mainly because the port is far from any traditional tourist attractions. Most of the passengers are Vietnamese: some are pilgrims, coming to pay their respects to those who died or were incarcerated on Côn Sơn Island when it was a colonial prison, but many are younger Vietnamese, coming to enjoy the island’s beaches and take selfies at all the scenic spots to adorn their social media accounts.

Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
Boarding the Côn Đảo Express ferry at Trần Đề

Boarding is a fairly relaxed, unchaotic procedure. On board it’s quiet and calm: passengers are mostly content to sit in their seats occupied by their phones, snoozing, or snacking. The engines rev and the boat drifts out on the swell of the wide Mekong. The mouth of the river is vast, so there’s very little to see: just a line of coconut palms on the distant banks. It’s not long before the ferry reaches open water and, gradually, the colour of the sea – stained brown by the emptying river – turns a deep blue.

Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
On deck at sea on the Superdong ferry

As the journey progresses, passengers begin to gather on the outside deck at the stern: smoking, drinking, selfie-taking and, in some cases, looking rather seasick. From November to March the crossing can be very rough, with large waves tossing the relatively small vessels up and down. If you suffer from seasickness, it’s best to avoid these months. Even in calm conditions, be careful out on deck because the floors can be wet and slippery, and the railings aren’t very high.

Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
Enjoying the voyage on deck on the Superdong ferry

For two hours the boat cleaves through the ocean, ploughing due south to the archipelago. When the boat slides into the straits created by the islands of Côn Sơn and Hòn Bà, there’s a palpable sense of excitement on board. It’s a spectacular arrival: Bến Đầm pier is situated in the middle of a blue lagoon with forested peaks rising sharply all around. Everyone is itching to get ashore, but disembarkation can be a bit of a shambles. Regardless of how chaotic the arrival is, when you look around at the bay, nothing else matters: you’re on the Côn Đảo Islands.

*Book ferry tickets directly from this page & help support my website. Use the Baolau.com search box below to book your ferry tickets on the Sóc Trăng→Côn Đảo route. If you make a booking, I receive a small commission. All earnings go straight back into this website. Thank you. Tom


Soc Trang→Con Dao Island ferry
The Superdong ferry at anchor in Bến Đầm port on Côn Sơn Island

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

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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. Ariel says:
    August 23, 2019 at 1:34 AM

    Just a quick update – went on the ferry in August 2019 and had no problem getting the bike on the ferry with me.
    I arrived at the ferry point in Tran De a day earlier just to be sure. At the start they did say it’s impossible to bring the bike, but after showing them the blue card they simply told me to turn up the next morning at 7:15. Cost was 180,000 for the bike.

    1. Tom says:
      August 23, 2019 at 4:25 AM

      Hi Ariel,

      Thanks for the update – that’s good to hear.

      Tom

      1. Aurélie says:
        November 30, 2022 at 7:30 AM

        Hi,

        Thank you for your very well documented website!
        I would like to go on the Con Dao islands with my bicycle. Is there any update on the possibility to take it on the boat? From which of the 3 ports should I leave?

        Thank you a lot,

        Aurélie

        1. Tom says:
          December 1, 2022 at 2:29 AM

          Hi Aurelie,

          I think the only ferry crossing you can currently take a bike on is Tran De (Soc Trang) on the Superdong ferry.

          Best,

          Tom

  2. Peter Restorick says:
    August 12, 2019 at 7:50 AM

    Great write up Tom. Do you have any info on this new direct ferry service from HCMC to Con Dao that you mention in the comments section? Is it in operation now? I can’t find any info about that online anywhere.

    1. Tom says:
      August 12, 2019 at 10:12 AM

      Hi Peter,

      As far as I know neither the Saigon-Con Dao or the Can Tho-Con Dao ferry services are operating yet (despite press releases earlier in the year to the contrary). However, the daily ferry service between Vung Tau and Con Dao is operating (run by Phu Quoc Express).

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  3. Jon Scott says:
    June 24, 2019 at 9:23 AM

    Good afternoon,

    I’m hoping to try and visit Con Dao this July, but am still a little concerned I may have difficultly getting a rented motorbike onto the boat. I intend to rent an XR150 from Tigit, and was wondering if anyone has any experience with a slightly larger bike and whether the boat would accommodate this in the same way.

    Thanks in advance,

    Jon

    1. Tom says:
      June 25, 2019 at 2:51 AM

      Hi Jon,

      I don’t not for sure about an XR. However, because Phu Quoc Express boats (which are larger vessels than Superdong and can potentially definitely accommodate an XR) now sail from Soc Trang (Tran De), Can Tho, and Vung Tau to Con Dao, you have a better chance than before. You can also try contacting either Superdong or Phu Quoc Express to ask them. However, sometimes the staff on the phone will insist it’s not possible, but in reality when you go to the port it is possible.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  4. Bob Vermeulen says:
    March 24, 2019 at 2:30 PM

    As posted before (december ’18) it’s sometimes difficult to get your motorbike on the Superdong.
    Took met 25 minutes of deliberating with 5 semployees at the Superdong ferry office at Tran De, but in the end they approved because I had the bluecard of the bike. Tigit also gave me special letter in Vietnamese (see messages below) but I didn’t need it in the end. So you need some persuasive talking power, but still possible

  5. Céline Menguy says:
    March 13, 2019 at 4:12 PM

    Hello Tom, we are a family of four and would like to take the ferry from Soc Trang to Con Dao the 18th of april 2019. It seems that it’s not possible to book the tickets now (on Baolau). Do you know how long before the date of travel it’s possible to book the ferry tickets? I’m afraid I may not be able to buy tickets. I would really apreciate your answer! Thanks a lot! Céline

    1. Tom says:
      March 13, 2019 at 4:43 PM

      Hi Celine,

      I don’t have any details about that – but it’s definitely worth trying to contact Baolau about it (send them an email – they are usually good at responding). If that doesn’t work you can try contacting Superdong directly – either by email or by phone. And if that doesn’t work you can go to the nearest Superdong office as soon as you arrive in Vietnam (there’s one in Saigon, for example). And if that doesn’t work, you can also reach Con Dao by fast boat on the Phu Quoc Express direct from Vung Tau now (about 3.5 hours), and by the time you arrive in April there should be another new boat service to Con Dao, this time direct from Saigon (about 5 hours). And you also have the option to fly to Con Dao from either Saigon or Can Tho with Vietnam Airlines which you should be able to book through their website.

      Good luck,

      Tom

  6. Line says:
    March 11, 2019 at 9:13 AM

    Hi Tom,

    thank you for detailed information on the ferry to Con Dao.

    I have just tried to book the ferry to Con Dao at the end of March but there are “no rules found for this date yet”. Do you know who much in advance it is possible to book the ferry.

    Best regards,
    Line

    1. Line says:
      March 11, 2019 at 9:55 AM

      Hi Tom,

      I mean rutes instead of rules.

      Best regards,
      Line

    2. Tom says:
      March 11, 2019 at 10:20 AM

      Hi Line,

      I’m surprised you can’t book for late March – just a couple of weeks away. If you’re in Vietnam you can try going to one of the Superdong offices (check their website for locations) to book a ticket – that should work. If not try through Baolau.com.

      Good luck,

      Tom

      1. Karin says:
        March 11, 2019 at 3:05 PM

        We had the same problem for the ferry we took this morning. The schedule had changed and the only option was to book directly on the Superdong site. Instead of one boat at 8 am there was one at 7 am, 10:30 am and 1 pm.

        Phuong I missed your reply and we ended up taking a taxi directly from our homestay in the delta close to Can Tho to the ferry. It took us 2 hours and 800.000 VND

        1. Tom says:
          March 11, 2019 at 4:08 PM

          Hi Karin,

          Thanks for the updates. Yes, regards the change of sailing time, I’m guessing demand is high at the moment, hence all the extra sailings.

          Tom

        2. Bob Vermeulen says:
          March 24, 2019 at 2:21 PM

          As of mid-march sailing times depending on day. Monday to Thursday 2 departures 8:00 AM + 1:00 PM, Weekends Friday to Sunday 3 departures 7 AM; 10:30 AM, 2:30 pm.

          1. Tom says:
            March 24, 2019 at 3:07 PM

            Thanks for the sailing times updates, Bob.

      2. Line says:
        March 23, 2019 at 12:09 PM

        Hi Tom,

        just to inform you, the tickets for March 31 were put up for sale on March 18. Cannot wait to visit Con Dao.

        Thanks for a great homepage.

        Regards,
        Line

        1. Tom says:
          March 23, 2019 at 12:13 PM

          Hi Line,

          Good to hear that. Thank you for the useful information. And I hope you enjoy the islands.

          Tom

  7. Karin says:
    February 1, 2019 at 11:58 PM

    Tom thanks for all the information about Vietnam!
    We plan on going to Can Dao after our stay in Can Tho. Is there any posibility to travel to Tran De directly from Can Tho that you know of? Or is a taxi an alternative?

    Karin

    1. Tom says:
      February 2, 2019 at 12:43 AM

      Hi Karin,

      I don’t think there’s a direct bus between Can Tho and Tran De, but you can certainly get a direct bus from Can Tho to Soc Trang and then a taxi from there to Tran De. Superdong also has a bus from Tran De to Soc Trang early in the morning for passengers to get the boat.

      If you’re traveling now (February), remember that the winds can often disrupt the boat schedule – I’m on the southeast coast right now and it gets very windy in the afternoons.

      Tom

      1. K. K. Joosse says:
        February 3, 2019 at 8:39 PM

        Thanks for the feedback Tom. We wil be traveling there around 15 March, I hope that the see will be calm then.

        1. Phuong says:
          March 4, 2019 at 5:32 AM

          There isn’t any direct bus from Can Tho to Tran De. I took this following route last week:
          You can book ticket from Can Tho to Soc Trang with Phuong Trang Bus. The earliest bus is at 4am, and they have service every one hour. The journey takes about 1hr 15mins from the terminal to Soc Trang. Ticket is about 100,000 VND.
          The bus will drop you right outside center of Soc Trang, along Quoc Lo 1. From there, you can either take taxi to go directly to Tran De port or you can go to Superdong Ticket Office. They have shuttle service from the Ticket Office to Tran De Port. Bus will start at 6.20am, and the journey will take about 1 hour, and it costs 40,000 VND per person. It’s advisable to reserve the shuttle service in advance as it’s a small bus (about 20-25 seats).

          1. Phuong says:
            March 4, 2019 at 5:34 AM

            Sorry, the ticket office will open at 6.30am, and the bus will leave at 7.20am

            1. Phuong says:
              March 4, 2019 at 5:35 AM

              There is also one flight from Can Tho to Con Dao daily but it’s very difficult to get the ticket as it’s sold out really fast

              1. Tom says:
                March 4, 2019 at 3:03 PM

                Hi Phuong,

                Yes, I’ve put the information about the flight between Can Tho and Con Dao in my main Con Dao Guide.

                Tom

          2. Tom says:
            March 4, 2019 at 3:01 PM

            Thanks for the information, Phuong.

  8. Mary Ellen says:
    January 21, 2019 at 9:06 PM

    Hello Tom,
    This is an excellent guide!
    We just booked our trip to Con Dao for the end of February. However, I cannot find any information on how to get from Soc Trang back to Ho Chi Minh when the boat arrives in mid-afternoon.
    I also cannot find any information on places to stay in Tran De.
    Any information would be most welcome.
    Thank you,
    Mary Ellen

    1. Tom says:
      January 22, 2019 at 1:17 AM

      Hi Mary,

      There’s some information about places to stay in Tran De on this page above, but no contact details because they’re just local guest houses.

      To get from Tran De to Soc Trang, Superdong has a bus that meets the boats (which you can book at the port or Superdong office on Con Dao). Then to get from Soc Trang back to Ho Chi Minh City there are regular buses. You can check times, prices, and book bus tickets here.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

      1. Mary Ellen says:
        January 22, 2019 at 2:26 PM

        Thank you Tom!

  9. Rob Judge says:
    January 14, 2019 at 12:45 AM

    Hi Tom.
    Thanks a lot for your detailed guide to con dao. I am sitting in the ferry right now and everything worked out well.
    The new ferry Terminal is actually in use and you can buy a ticket there very easily.
    Now i am looking forward to explore this island. It’s my first time in Vietnam and i already had a great time in Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho and Phu Quoc. I have made a lot of local friends and will come back more often.
    Best wishes,
    Rob

    1. Tom says:
      January 14, 2019 at 2:56 AM

      Hi Rob,

      Good to hear that. Thank you for the updates about the new terminal.

      I hope you enjoy the Con Dao Islands and make more friends there, too.

      Tom

  10. Greg Wiseman says:
    December 21, 2018 at 4:43 AM

    Thanks Tom
    Just booked for Soc Trang – Con Dao, 22 December at the Soc Trang Superdong office where there was the option for 0800 or 1100 boats. Minivan to the port 2 hours prior to departure for 40,000VND. All very easy.
    Greg

    1. Tom says:
      December 21, 2018 at 5:56 AM

      Hi Greg,

      Great to hear that. Thanks for the important updates. I hope the journey goes well.

      Tom

  11. kiki vuong says:
    December 13, 2018 at 5:39 AM

    Tom,

    I just called the tran de office to book my motorcycle on the boat to con dao and the office told me that if I am not the registered owner (which i am not) i will need to go the bien phong office (border customs) near their office in tran de the day before boarding to ask a permit for my motorbike, if the permit is declined then i can park the motorbike in a long term parking and board the boat without it.

    Also they said that they now pack the motorbike in a wooden crate ….

    I am now thinking about flying there and renting a bike on the island …

    1. Tom says:
      December 13, 2018 at 8:07 AM

      Hi Kiki,

      Thanks for letting me know that.

      I think I recall another traveller being told something similar last year when they tried to call ahead to book their bike on the boat. But in reality, when they just turned up at the pier, there was no such problem at all.

      However, I understand your concern, and perhaps if you have limited time, it might suit you better to fly. But even if you did end up having to leave your bike in Tran De for a few days and rent a bike on the island instead, it would still be a fun road trip through the Mekong to Tran De and on the boat across to Con Dao. If you’ve got time: go for the boat; if not, fly. That would be my advice. Either way, please let me know how it all works out for you.

      Good luck,

      Tom

      1. kiki vuong says:
        December 17, 2018 at 7:34 AM

        Hello Tom.

        I am in Tran De now and I went through the process, so if you are not the registered owner of the motorbike you have to get clearance from the customs (next door to the ticket office for superdong), for that i had to show the rental contract for the motorbike (must be on letterhead of the rental with red rubber stamp) and I had a photocopy of the blue card.

        Because my contract wasn’t stamped
        and was in english, I was able to get the rental company (tigit) to prepare a document in vietnamese and send it to me by whatsapp. I was able to negotiate with it with the customs officer because I speak vietnamese.

        The authorization is just a simple sheet with the officer signature …

        Now I am spending a night in Tran De and will board the ferry with my bike tomorrow morning.

        By the way, i arrived the day before boarding to get the time to do the paperwork, but in fact the customs office opens everyday starting at 6am. So the customs’ authorization can be done the same day you would take the boat.

  12. kiki says:
    December 9, 2018 at 8:18 AM

    Hi Tom,

    An avid user of your motorcycle trip guides, after having been several times east and north of Sai Gon as well as on the coast roads, I am planning to go by boat to Con Dao, I was wondering if you had a “scenic” itinerary you would recommend to go to Tran De from Sai Gon?

    1. Tom says:
      December 10, 2018 at 4:22 AM

      Hi Kiki,

      Yes, good question: I’m actually writing a guide to a route to take between Saigon and Tran De at the moment. But it’s not finished.

      I would take QL50 via Go Cong to My Tho, then over the bridge to Ben Tre, then QL60 via Tra Vinh to Soc Trang Province, then QL91C down to Tran De.

      This route is much nicer than going via QL1. There are lots of back-routes too, but it’s a much more circuitous route. Tra Vinh is a great night stop if you need it. It’s a long ride from Saigon to Tran De: a full day.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

      1. kiki says:
        December 10, 2018 at 6:01 PM

        yes it does, I like to avoid the main highways and i will report back to you on this itinerary

        1. kiki vuong says:
          December 17, 2018 at 8:18 AM

          Tom,

          I used your recomended itinerary, it’s much nicer than QL1 and there are less trucks on the road. After one hour and a half driving out of Sai Gon, it feels like you are in the back country and things are a lot less hectic. I stayed one night in Tran Vinh even though I thought I could drive the wole trip in one day but I had to do some paperworks at the customs in Tran De so I wanted to arrive mid day in Tran De.

          Good that I did, I didn’t realize that the itinerary involves two ferries (6,000 vnd each) to cross twice the Mekong to arrive near Tran De.

          The ferry waiting and crossing takes some times and I would have arrived much later than planned I tried to ride the whole thing in one day.

          I am now in Tran De and will sleep one night there before taking the boat with my bike to Con Dao.

          1. Tom says:
            December 17, 2018 at 9:47 AM

            Hi Kiki,

            That’s great information, thanks. Happy to hear it was a smooth process and I hope the crossing goes well tomorrow.

            Tom

  13. Lemmy says:
    June 24, 2018 at 9:51 AM

    We’re actually at Con Dao. Tripping by motorbike from Saïgon with night stop at Tra Vinh. From here, it takes about 2 hours to reach Tram De harbour (2 ferry to get). No problem to carry the motorbike, Superdong employee wants only know registration number of the motorbike. Like said Martin, pay directly morbike fee at the pier. Price depend of kind of motorbike (automatic 180kd,non automatic 170kd matter of weight !) Motorbike are no wrapped and subject to sea spray, so you have to clean motorbike at a shop (rua xe 30kd) at Con Son city to dirt off from sea salt which can be very corrosive for engine !

    1. Tom says:
      June 24, 2018 at 9:58 AM

      Hi Lemmy,

      Thanks. Glad to hear it was a smooth journey.

      Tom

  14. Hermance says:
    June 12, 2018 at 6:15 PM

    Hello, your website is really beautifull with so many and interessant informations to prepare the trip in Vietnam, thanks a lot !! We are thinking to visit Con dao in January but I am afraid that the boat trip is not so easy because I know that it’s not the good season on the sea… Do you think it’s better to take the plane in january even if it’s really more expensive ? Thanks for your help ! Hermance

    1. Tom says:
      June 13, 2018 at 4:28 AM

      Hi Hermance,

      I think, if you have limited time, then it’s probably better to go to the Con Dao Islands by plane at that time of year, because the winds are often strong in January.

      Tom

      1. Hermance says:
        June 13, 2018 at 9:27 AM

        Hello Tom,
        Thanks, we are not really limited in time, we stay 3 months in Vietnam but we are in the south in January and I am afraid that the sea will be bad (and I am sea sick …)… I will think about that ….Thanks for all the informations in your site !! Hermance

  15. Hoseung Joun says:
    May 23, 2018 at 7:09 AM

    Tom, had a VN friend call about tickets for a motorbike and was told the bike had to be registered under one’s name on the blue card or else it cannot go on the Soc Trang to Con Dao ferry. An email reply also stated that rental bikes were not allowed. Mine belongs to my friend but the blue card has someone else’s name on it (apparently common in VN). This restriction only applies to the this ferry and not to the Phu Quoc ferry. Hope this helps.

    1. Tom says:
      May 24, 2018 at 9:40 AM

      Hi Joun,

      Thanks for letting me know that information. However, I have not had these problems when transporting mine and other people’s motorbike on the Soc Trang-Con Dao ferry. My bike isn’t registered in my name either and nor were my travelling companions’ bikes, but we didn’t have any problems, nor did anyone ask about it.

      If you want to take your motorbike on this ferry I would go to the ferry pier directly. Of course, I can’t guarantee it will work, but so far I haven’t met any other travellers who have been turned down.

      I hope it works out for you,

      Tom

      1. Hoseung Joun says:
        May 28, 2018 at 3:20 AM

        Update: it was the Saigon office that said the bike has to be registered in your own name. I went to the Tran De office and motorbike was no problem. It’s now 190k for motorbike and you pay at the boat when you board but your passenger ticket must have the motorbike endorsement stamp. Boat is nice. I am actually on board right now and the boat is maybe only 30% full on a Monday morning. Seems they are currently running 3 boats each way, 7am (not 8am like it says on their website), 10:30am and the 1pm. Thanks for your help and your guide. Could not have done this without your help!.

        1. Tom says:
          May 28, 2018 at 3:28 AM

          Hi Joun,

          Really glad to hear that worked out for you. Thanks for the updates. I hope you enjoy the Con Dao Islands. If you’re interested, I’ve almost finished updating all the information in my full Con Dao guide (not the images yet though).

          Tom

    2. Martin says:
      May 28, 2018 at 1:18 PM

      Hi Joun,

      just arrived with my rental bike in con dao, no one wanted to see papers.
      The motorbike fee(170K oneway but it varies for some reason), i paid it directly at the pier, the ticket office sent me there.
      Btw, they lift the bike onto the ferry only by hand, no plank, i wonder if they ever dropped one into the water?

      Good luck, and Con Dao is beautiful!
      Martin

      1. Tom says:
        May 28, 2018 at 1:31 PM

        Hi Martin,

        Good to hear that.

        Yes, my bike was almost dropped – at least it felt that way to me 🙂 But I trust the guys know what they’re doing. They were immensely strong.

        Enjoy the islands,

        Tom

  16. Ally says:
    April 19, 2018 at 5:43 PM

    Hello,

    I am looking to travel to the Con Dao islands at the start of May. I’ve read in the post that it’s good to stay in Tran De if we’re getting the 8am boat but I wasn’t sure if it’s usually okay to just show up and hope one of the guesthouses has a place to stay? I haven’t been able to find any listed online and because we are traveling on a fairly strict time limit, it would be good to know if there’s any you can book ahead of time otherwise we might stay in Soc Trang and have a longer journey early in the morning. Any help greatly appreciated!

    Cheers,

    Ally

    1. Tom says:
      April 20, 2018 at 9:11 AM

      Hi Ally,

      If you are travelling on a weekday then you shouldn’t have trouble turning up in Tran De and getting a room. But if you are travelling on a weekend or public holiday (there’s a public holiday at the beginning of May) then the hotels (and the ferry) might be fully booked.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

      1. Marc says:
        October 18, 2018 at 11:19 AM

        Could you give us website or phone number to call the guesthouse in tran De close to the port ?

        We are travelling with my family and we would like to be sure that we will be able to sleep somewhere close to the ferry 🙂

        1. Tom says:
          October 18, 2018 at 12:16 PM

          Hi Marc,

          Sorry, I don’t have the numbers but according to Google Ngoc Quy Guest House is 093 295 73 37.

          I hope this helps,

          Tom

  17. Gojo says:
    April 19, 2018 at 10:27 AM

    Such helpful info – thank you for publishing this!

    Do you have any additional details about the shuttle bus from Soc Trang city to Tran De port? I’m trying to plan my travel, and can’t find anything about it on the superdong website (or anywhere else, for that matter).

    Again, thank you!

    1. Tom says:
      April 20, 2018 at 9:08 AM

      Hi Gojo,

      I think the bus leaves from the Superdong office in Soc Trang. If you call Superdong they should be able to give you more information about the bus or go to the Superdong office in Soc Trang when you get there. The bus will probably leave at least 1 hour before the departure of the boat – something like 6.30am. Also your hotel in Soc Trang should know more about the bus too.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  18. Richard says:
    March 13, 2018 at 8:40 PM

    Slightly off topic, we took Superdong from Rach Gia to Phu Quoc a couple days ago, after spending several days in Can Tho and the day before departure in Rach Gia. Trip was very smooth and nobody appeared sick in the lower deck. Was able to call Superdong and reserve tickets with cell phone number and name as it appears on passport. All and all, a short hop to Phu Quoc via ATR72 from Can Tho would have been cheaper and saved a day, when you consider we travelled by car from Can Tho to Rach Gia, the cost of the hotel and fast ferry. It was an interesting trip to do one time. Bai Kem beach on Phu Quoc is amazing beautiful this year with very little plastic washing up on the beach.

    Richard

    1. Tom says:
      March 14, 2018 at 12:20 AM

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks, I’m glad you had a smooth Superdong experience.

      Tom

  19. Peter says:
    March 13, 2018 at 5:59 AM

    Hi Tom,
    Thanks for the update. Wish i had all that last year when i did the ferry crossing just after it opened. Ticketing back then was a bit problematic.
    On that day, the crossing was very rough indeed, with most onboard (very) seasick. The staff were very good at supporting all. That ferry certainly took a pounding, but it was worth it when you get across.

    1. Tom says:
      March 13, 2018 at 4:04 PM

      Hi Peter,

      I had a rough crossing today too, but rather surprisingly no one seemed to get seasick. The boat must be pretty tough to take a beating like that.

      But regards ticketing, staff and general organization, it was all pretty smooth, apart from some chaos at the clogged piers during departure and arrival. However, during the windy months from November to March there are a lot of cancellations due to rough seas.

      Tom

  20. Ngoc says:
    March 11, 2018 at 4:14 PM

    Really great information, thank you! Looking forward to your posts about the islands themselves

    1. Ngoc says:
      March 11, 2018 at 4:16 PM

      Oops I just searched and you already wrote about them! 🙂

      1. Tom says:
        March 12, 2018 at 12:22 AM

        Hi Ngoc,

        Haha! Yes, I have, but I’m currently updating my Con Dao guides based on my recent trip – I should be finished in a week.

        Tom

    2. Tom says:
      March 12, 2018 at 12:20 AM

      Thanks, Ngoc. I’m glad you enjoyed this guide.

      Tom

  21. belinda says:
    March 10, 2018 at 9:07 PM

    Thanks so much Beth!