A popular tourist attraction and a nearby nation are both accessible by ferry in Old San Juan. One allows you a quick trip across the bay to the industrial community of Cataño, while the other provides overnight transportation to the Dominican Republic. If you're interested in expanding your horizons during your stay in Puerto Rico's most historic of cities, either ferry will do the trick.
Old San Juan is connected to the small industrial and residential community of from the terminal in San Juan. Approximately every half hour between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. the ferry takes off from Pier Number Two on the San Juan side, and takes six minutes to cross the San Juan Bay. The fare is $1(USD) per person each way. This ferry is typically used by locals to commute from their homes to work, so it is highly recommended that tourists avoid use during rush hour. If things get too hectic, the ferry operator will deploy a second boat, but this is never guaranteed.
The ferries that make the crossing are catamarans with indoor seating that hold 100 passengers at a time and more than one million passengers use the service each year. Do be aware that there is no air conditioning, though you can open the windows to let fresh air in to the seating area.
Check the following chart for ferry details.
|Old San Juan|
...ferry travels over night...
Several international ferry companies have come and gone over the years, but many people believe that Caribbean Fantasy by America Cruise Ferries, the latest incarnation, is here to stay. This ferry service provides transportation between and the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispanola.
Caribbean Fantasy travels between the two destinations three times a week on a trip that lasts anywhere from eight to twelve hours depending on weather conditions and departure location. Prices begin at $159(USD) for a round trip ticket, which includes port charges and three standard sized pieces of luggage free of charge. You may also transport a vehicle for an extra fee, but this must be arranged in advance of the trip.
The ferry travels over night, which means guests have the option of partying the night away or booking a cabin to sleep in. The boat has a casino, piano bar, swimming pool, disco, and plenty of shops that offer goods at duty free prices.
|Departure Time||Departs From||Arrival Time||Arrives In|
|Saturday, 7:00 p.m.||Santo Domingo, DR||Monday, 8:00 a.m.||San Juan, PR|
|Monday, 7:00 p.m.||San Juan, PR||Tuesday, 8:00 a.m.||Santo Domingo, DR|
|Tuesday, 8:00 p.m.||Santo Domingo, DR||Wednesday, 8:00 a.m.||Mayaguez, PR|
|Wednesday, 8:00 p.m.||Mayaguez, PR||Thursday, 8:00 a.m.||Santo Domingo, DR|
|Thursday, 8:00 p.m.||Santo Domingo, DR||Friday, 8:00 a.m.||San Juan, PR|
There is a big difference between the two ferry services that operate out of Old San Juan, but both serve an important purpose, and both are good to know about. They allow tourists not only to travel locally in a more efficient manner, but to possibly extend their vacation and enjoy a little time in the Dominican Republic as well.
|Location Served||Dock A||Dock B||Company||Frequency|
|San Juan||San Juan Ferry Port||Catano Ferry Dock||many times per day|
|San Juan||San Juan Ferry Port||Hato Rey Ferry Dock||many times per day|
|Santo Domingo||San Juan Ferry Port||Caribbean Fantasy Santo Domingo Dock||America Cruise Ferries||1 to 2 days per week|
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