Life lately: traveling by ferry on Lagos waters

February 25, 2016 Naija girl next door 16 Comments

Heyyy I'm back :)
    Ever resorted to water transportation in Lagos? Everyone in Nigeria knows Lagos traffic can be your personal trial and tribulation.
Then there's Apapa gridlock, the mother of them all. I used to hear about it on morning radio and shake my head. Never did I dream I would have anything to do in Apapa. When I was posted here to serve, it felt like a sentence.
    I was haunted by images of total standstill, free flowing sweat and the special brand of exhaust fumes produced by trailers and tankers.
   My dad who doesn't live in Lagos had heard about people using ferry services to avoid traffic and get to work, and he suggested it. Truly truly, this is what I pictured:
I said NO, I'm not tryna die.
     Two other people made the same suggestion but I wasn't having it.
The first few times I came to Apapa by road. It was the beginning of the year and Lagos was deserted- people were away on holiday and the roads were free.
   Then one morning I got on the bus at CMS, Lagos Island and it was taking forever to fill up (I've retired my car). A few people left the bus saying they were going to take the ferry. They crossed the road to the jetty. Five minutes later I thought, I'm gonna die Lordt, and I followed them.

  Well. Surprise.
Jetty at CMS. Source:
Apapa jetty

This ferry service is called Sea Coach. They are organised. You pay for your ticket and wait in the boat. If it hasn't arrived there's a waiting area.
    They are consistently safety conscious. They help each person put on their life jacket properly before you get on. Inside, it's really spacious and I get to sit by myself.

It takes a little over four minutes one-way, I kid you not. The first time I was only on selfie no. 3 when we got there and I had to scramble to put my phone away and look less like a tourist.

View from the boat
The clincher? Same price as the uncomfortable Danfo bus: N150. Pere.

  Sea Coach is my favourite.
I once got on Texas Connection from Apapa to CMS because the Sea Coach boat hadn't arrived. I wished I had waited. Texas Connection has a much bigger craft, but they had their life jackets scattered on the seats and floor and they didn't care if I had one on. The jackets were even dirty. I had to cringe and put one on because as you already know, I love my life.
A Texas Connection boat. Not the one I was on.
 On top of that it took over double the amount of time it takes Sea Coach to get to destination.
   To pass the time, we had company- a woman selling magic teas that are supposed to treat all ailments; she mispronounced and criminally misused medical terms. I was so angry I couldn't even look at her or I might have spoken up. I've seen patients who were deceived into stopping their meds in favour of one of these 'remedies', coming back with serious and sometimes fatal complications. It's personally frustrating.
   Anyway we're talking about Ferries.
 I've stayed faithful to Sea Coach ever since. The last time I was on board we even had a movie showing. I only caught one scene because short transit time. They should show music videos instead.

       Happily, there has been no traffic so far. The tankers and trailers are off the road but I still like to travel by water every now and then, for speed as well as peace and scenery. I can't believe it's just N150 for the experience. N100 if you'd like to spend a little more time on a Texas Connection boat enjoying the scenery.

Other ferry routes I've heard of: CMS-Ikorodu, CMS-VI, Apapa-Ikorodu, VI-Ikorodu. The Ikorodu route is more expensive; I hear N500 or a little more.

    Have you used ferry services in Lagos? Would you?




  1. I have never used the ferry before. I honestly thought it would be like the first picture you showed. :-) This looks like a great way to get around. I don't really go to Apapa but if I did this may be the way to go.

    1. You can imagine my surprise.
      It was a good discovery

  2. I'm scared of large bodies of water so I doubt if I'll try it even if im given 5life jackets.
    Cheesy Pick Up Lines

  3. Wow, this is good. I pray people go into the water transportation business. When I was working, we had to go from work in VI to client site at Apapa everyday. We used to use one of the client's boat from walter carrington to Apapa, so yea, I have experience.

    I just hope the government dredges those waterways fast, so boats don't have to spoil so fast, and people can be encouraged to get into the business.

    1. It's a great business opportunity. If only the Government would do their part. It amazes me how we can be talking about cable cars when the waterways are totally underused.

  4. Hi Doc,

    I am very impressed with the ferry system, it's very affordable too. I have heard horror tales of the traffic at Apapa, it's nice to know there's an alternative.

    The name "Texas Connection" cracked me up. Lol :-)

    Have a lovely weekend.

    1. I tell you! Texas Connection inside Lagos. My people =))

  5. No ferries around my neck of the woods here in the U.S. but the Sea Coach ferry seems like I nice ride; maybe the Texas Connection would be if it didn't sound so scary. LOL!

    1. Right? Lol
      Someone else who wrote about it said she prefers Texas Connection so she can enjoy the scenery for longer. To each their own I guess

  6. Lol your expectation of the ferry...killer!! This is a great way to get from one place to another, very forward thinking.

  7. This is interesting, shall bear in mind when I move to Lagos. On an unrelated note, where did you do your housejob in Lagos? And was the pay good? Because, I cannot come and go and suffer for 6years and not be paid properly lol

    1. Hi,
      I did hj at General Hospital L/island. Pay for hj is in the same bracket nationwide. The difference isn't spectacular but when you include transportation and housing (they don't provude accommodation) it eats up your income. I would advice you do your hj where there's accommodation.

  8. Lmao! Your analogies had me laughing hard.
    I've heard of these ferry transport service to work....unfortunately my house is far from pick up station which I think is around ikorudu area. I would really love to experience this sweatless bustle to work. At least I wouldn't have to be waking up extra extra early just because I want to beat the traffic to work and there's the hustle of dressing up too(as a lady)
    PS: Thank you for visiting my blog, much appreciated.

    BeautifullyJune Blog 

  9. LMAO "I'm gonna die Lordt"
    Happy to hear the ferry arrangement is working out! :)
    I wouldn't mind ferrying at all, because the traffic stress is tew much! but no water on my route.

  10. Go girl! I knew you were going to get your groove on and snap out of that moody NYSC transfer shocker to Apapa,now you are enjoying it, like I said, lots of blog post will come out of this NYSC experience. SO because you tried the the boat cruise, I will too, I aint scared, I will try it out with sea coach, Why shouldnt I, when the hair treatment you gave me worked wonders!Thanks girl!