The Cotai Water Jet is a speed ferry connecting Hong Kong with Macau. In this extensive guide, we’ll explain what routes are served, what you need need to know about taking a ride and how the comfort in both classes compares.
When visiting Macau, we decided to take the easiest possible way to the gambling metropolis: The Cotai Water Jet. In general, there are four different routes:
The two first routes are served very frequently with departures up to every 15 minutes, the other routes are served less often with departures usually around each hour. We took the ferry from the Hong Kong SkyPier to the Taipa Ferry Terminal and from there to the Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal on Hong Kong Island. Alternatively, you can take the ferry to the China Ferry Terminal for access to Kowloon.
If you are planning a trip, which is involving Macau, I’d recommend booking tickets of the Cotai Water Jet in advance. You can easily book those online, which is where you’ll find the best prices. If arriving at the airport, be sure to have some buffer as delays could make you miss the Cotai Water Jet connection.
There’s no connection protection, but the staff might be friendly enough to rebook you on the next ride. Nevertheless, there’s no guarantee for that, so better don’t plan too tight. You can also book your rides at the ferry terminals and the airport if there are still spots left, but that might be a risky move, too as some rides happen to be fully booked.
If you are using the Cotai Water Jet at Hong Kong International Airport, you don’t have to enter Hong Kong. Instead, you have to look for the Water Jet desk in the transfer area, before immigration. Here, you can grab you pre-booked ticket, buy a new one and label through your baggage. In case, your airline doesn’t have a codeshare agreement with Cotai Water Jet (or you forget about telling them that you are taking the ferry), you can just give the staff here your luggage tag. They’ll take care of labeling the luggage through for you. I was a little worried at first, but everything worked out fine and my luggage was quickly delivered to me in Macau.
As soon as you took care of your luggage and ticket, you can sit down and wait for the boarding of your ferry, which usually starts approximately half an hour before departure. At that moment, you can board through a special gate in the transit area. First, you are taking an underground train to the ferry terminal, where you have to locate your gate. As soon as you’ve found it, boarding usually is already underway and you can get on board and find you seat.
If you are departing from Macau to an international destination via Hong Kong Airport, the process is straightforward, too. You can either label your luggage through to your final destination at the Taipa Ferry Terminal or you can give the staff all the necessary information for your onward journey and they’ll take care of the rest. You will not need to enter Hong Kong that way and instead can just go to your boarding gate as soon as you’ve reached Hong Kong International Airport.
Cotai Water Jet offers different options for your luggage. Bigger or bulky items usually have to get checked, but that’s only for very big suitcases weighing 25 kilogram and more. We were allowed to take a normal suitcase (20 kilogram) alongside a cabin trolley (10 kilogram) on board without any issues.
If you are not travelling with very big luggage, you won’t have to worry. You can instead take it on board on all routes except the airport route (where you have to check the luggage in order to check it through to your final destination). On the ferry, you’ll find enough storage space for larger bags and suitcases.
The Cotai Water Jet comes with two classes. The standard class is the so-called Cotai Class, which usually comes with seating in the lower deck in a 2-3-3-2 configuration. Seats are assigned at boarding and you can’t choose yourself. The seats are comfortable enough leather seats, which aren’t particularly modern, but offer decent enough padding for a journey of an hour or so.
The seats have an armrest on both sides and come with a good seat pitch. Each seat also has a table, which allows working on board. WiFi is offered free of charge and worked fairly well on my journey. There are also a few screens throughout the cabin, mainly showing ads. There’s also an option to purchase snacks and drinks on board.
The First Class on board the Cotai Water Jet usually come with a surcharge of 20 to 40 US-Dollar per ride, which is quite a bit. Therefore, you have priority when boarding (there’s generally no security check, so no need for priority here) and can use a special waiting area at the Macau Taipa Ferry Terminal.
On board, you are usually seated on the upper deck on more comfortable and better padded seats. On my ride, First Class was quite empty, too. We were even assigned especially comfortable and private seats with a private television and a large table. The seat pitch in First Class in general is even better than in Cotai Class (where it’s good, too).
Moreover, First Class passengers are handed out free snacks and a soft drink of choice. I’m not quite sure what the snacks were, but they were tasty enough.
Especially as the cabin was quite empty, Fist Class on board the Cotai Water Jet is a nice experience. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t generally pay 20 to 40 US-Dollar more as the experience isn’t that different.
You should be aware that rides on the Cotai Water Jet can get a little bumpy, but that’s usually not too bad as rides only take an hour or so. The comfort on board is high in both classes and the views can be quite beautiful, too. First Class is especially nice, but the surcharge is a little too steep in my opinion. Last but not least, I’d say that the whole booking and boarding process is very straightforward and well organized. Especially the luggage through-labeling on the airport line and the generous luggage rules on other routes makes taking the Cotai Water Jet a very hassle-free experience. All in all, I doubt that there’s a better way to get from Hong Kong to Macau.
Do you have any questions about the Cotai Water Jet? Feel free to ask in the comments!