How to get the ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao

The ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao is a fairly easy, convenient option for those looking to island-hop in Thailand. With plenty of companies to choose from, we share the best way you can travel via ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao and vice versa. 

Why visit Koh Tao?

Koh Samui is a stunning destination and one of the most beautiful places to visit in Thailand. However, for something a little different, head out to Koh Tao. Known as Turtle Island, there are many reasons to jump on the ferry and visit the idyllic island. 

Firstly, this is one of the top destinations in the world for scuba diving. There are some great companies that you can take your PADI course with before exploring popular sights like the Sail Rock and Champion Pinnacle.

The beaches are breathtaking here and quieter than those on Koh Samui. Visit Sairee Beach, which is a long stretch of white sand and clear waters but also enjoy the beauty of Freedom Beach, Ao Leuk, and Shark Bay. 

Whilst you are visiting Shark Bay, make sure to look out for the turtles, reef sharks, and colorful fish before heading up to the John-Suwan viewpoint for incredible views. 

The little island is also great for nightlife; with fantastic beach bars, fire shows and lively parity to choose from. 

How to get the ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao

Ferry from koh samui to koh tao

Choosing your ferry

First, you need to book your ferry. There are plenty of companies to choose from and you have the option to book tickets online or get them in person. 

Ferry Companies

Lomprayah High-speed ferries

Established in 1996, this fleet of high-speed catamaran ferries is the fastest way to get from Koh Samui to Koh Tao. You can leave from two different locations when using Lomprayah; Maenam Praline Pier and Nathon Pier. 

One-way tickets cost 600B for adults or 700B for the 5.30 pm trip. 

This is our favorite option because the company also offers airport or hotel transfers for 150B per person and the boarding process is quick and easy. Plus the boarding staff are helpful and assist you in finding space for larger cases; making this ideal for those coming from the airport. 

Tip: When you board the ferry, go upstairs to the VIP section, where you can find larger, reclining seats and get given a drink. However, there is an extra cost of 100B, which can be paid to the staff when they come around to check your ticket. 

Seatran Discovery 

Seatran has been running since 2002, with 3 departures each day from Bangkrak Pier to Koh Tao. 

These are conventional single-hull boats, so they can be less bouncy when the sea is rough; ideal for those with sea sickness. These journeys take 2 hours and depart at 8am, 1pm and 4.30pm. 

One-way tickets cost 600B, with children costing 400B. Seatran also offers airport and hotel transfers from Koh Samui for an additional 150B per person. 

The boarding process here can be less hectic than you find with Lomprayah and the Pier has been recently upgraded to include air-conditioned coffee shops and restaurants. 

Songserm Express 

The Songserm Express ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao was the very first company to offer ferry services. These depart daily and take around 3 hours; the ferries are a little older than the others. 

This is the cheapest ferry route, with tickets started at 500B. There is inside and outside seating available on the ferry but this ferry can be a lot busier than the other services. 

Ferry from koh samui to koh tao

Booking your ferry

Booking your ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao has been made easier in recent years, with websites like 12GO. Whilst living in Thailand, we always use this website to pre-book any travel. This guarantees your ticket and means you can compare the best option for you.

You could also choose to get tickets in person but this isn’t the best option if you are visiting in the high season; it can be a popular trip!

Departure and arrival points

There are three different places you can depart from, so make sure you head to the right spot for your trip. 

  • Maenam Pier is a popular option and is where the Lomprayah ferries depart from, this is located on the north coast of Koh Samui, around 15 minutes from Bophut Beach.
  • Bangrak Pier is where Seatran Discovery ferries depart from and is located in the northeast of Koh Samui, just 25 minutes from Bophut Beach and 10 minutes from Koh Samui Airport. 
  • Nathon Pier is where Songserm and Lomprayah ferries depart from and is on the West Coast of Koh Samui, near Nathon Town. 

Ferries will arrive at Mae Haad Koh Tao and from here, you can travel to your accommodation. 

The Ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao length?

Ferry times vary depending on which company you use but we recommend sticking with Lomprayah Catamaran, as their journey is just 1h 30m from Maenam Pier to Mae Haad Koh Tao. 

Other ferry time ranges from 2 hours up to 3 hours and 30 minutes, depending on the service and departure pier. 

Note: The Lomprayah ferry from Nathan to Koh Tao takes around 3 hours, leaving at 11.15am. However, you have to disembark and re-board at Koh Phangan.  

Ferry from koh samui to koh tao

Prices of Koh Samui to Koh Tao ferries 

Ferry prices vary but range from 500B – 700B; this isn’t just dependent on the company you travel with but also the route and time of your trip. This is why we recommend checking out the options on 12Go so you can find the best times and prices for your visit. 

Ferry from koh samui to koh tao

Tips for taking the ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao

  • Arrive at least 30 minutes before your departure time of your boat, to allow time for check-in and boarding. 
  • Check the ferry schedule for your chosen date and arrive early in the morning if you haven’t booked your trip in advance. 
  • Amenities: There are snacks and drinks available on most ferries and some even include air-conditioning. 
  • Arriving: Before you arrive in Koh Tao, we recommend you contact your hotel and arrange a transportation pick-up. This means that when you arrive at the pier, you simply look for someone holding a sign with your name on it and head to the right location. If not, you can use the taxis or tub tubs available, just make sure you either agree on a price beforehand or ask them to use the meter. 
  • Weather: Check the weather forecast before your trip, as rough seas can delay or even cancel ferry services.
  • Luggage: Check the luggage allowance on your ferry; not all services allow extra bags or suitcases. Make sure to add tags to your luggage as well, including the final destination tags if you are going to Koh Tao!
  • Koh Phangan: The ferries you take from Koh Samui will stop on the way to Koh Phangan Island, so make sure to pay attention and don’t get off early!

Helpful Resources

Travel essentials:

What to pack

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The pool overlooking the sea at tanote villa koh tao resort