The most popular (and affordable) way to get to Roatán and Utila is by ferry. Boats head out twice daily from the Muelle de Cabotaje in La Ceiba, with two return trips from the islands.
The MV Galaxy Wave makes the trip to the Roatán ferry terminal in Dixon Bay in 90 minutes and has comfortable seats, a snack bar, and a first-class level upstairs. The Utila Princess II takes an hour to make the voyage and is a smaller boat with wood benches and powerful air-conditioning. Ferry rides are subject to cancellation if the weather is bad or the waters are choppy. Stewards on both boats walk around with plastic bags for the faint of stomach, and you can ask for a free seasickness tablet from the cashier when purchasing your ticket on the MV Galaxy Wave.
The Utila Dream is a large catamaran ferry with regular daily service from La Ceiba to Utila and back, plus a convenient direct Roatán to Utila route operating only on weekends. This high-speed ferry is designed to handle the choppy waters, offers a first-class section, and cuts the travel time nearly in half.
Ferries to Guanaja no longer operate. Smaller private boats from Trujillo on the mainland, and from Roatán and Utila may take passengers to Guanaja on request, but transportation to the island is usually handled by your accommodations so be sure to ask when making your reservation.
Ferries and Contacts
MV Galaxy Wave. Muelle de Cabotaje, La Ceiba, Atlántida. 2445--1775; 2445--1795; www.roatanferry.com. $28 one way, $54 round-trip. Credit cards accepted.
Utila Dream. Utila Municipal Dock, Utila, Bay Islands. 9452--0948; www.utilaferry.com.
Utila Princess II. Muelle de Cabotaje, La Ceiba, Atlántida. 2425--3190; www.utilaprincess.com. $22 one way. No credit cards.