A cruise ship called Karnafuly Express has recently started its operation to transport tourists between Cox’s Bazar and St. Martin’s Island. It opened the possibility of traveling to St. Martin’s Island for the tourists safely outside the island’s traditional tourism season.
It is now possible to travel to St. Martin’s Island safely between September to May via this route. Below are all the details you need to know for traveling to St. Martin’s Island via Cox’s Bazar on Karnafuly Express.
Karnafuly Express is a 55-meter long seagoing vessel built by Karnafuly Ship Builders Ltd., which can carry 582 passengers. It has started its service on 31st January 2020, to transport tourists directly between Cox’s Bazar and St. Martin’s Island, which was not possible before.
Table of Contents
- Schedule of Karnafuly Express
- Classes and ticket price of Karnafuly Express
- Caution about planning a day trip to St. Martin’s Island by Karnafuly Express
- Other things to know about Karnafuly Express
- Common questions about Karnafuly Express
Schedule of Karnafuly Express
Karnafuly Express is scheduled to leave from the BIWTC Jetty in Cox’s Bazar every morning at 7.00 am and reaching St. Martin’s Island at 12.00 pm. Its return journey from St. Martin’s Island is scheduled to start at 3.30 pm, reaching Cox’s Bazar at 8.30 pm. However, the schedule can change drastically, depending on the tide.
Classes & Ticket price of Karnafuly Express
Economy seats, located on the 1st floor. Access to open front & back deck and prayer room—paid access to the rooftop garden.
Located on the 2nd floor, with the same facilities as Marigold class.
Premium seats, located on the 2nd floor. Same facilities as the previous two classes.
Premium lounge, located on the 2nd floor, has a projector. Same facilities as the Gladiolus class.
VIP lounge, located on the 2nd floor. Same facilities as the Liliac lounge.
One semi-double bed. Have TV & intercom facilities. Free access to front & back deck and rooftop garden. Common bath & toilet.
Two separate single beds. Facilities are the same as the Single Cabin.
Attached bath, common toilet. Other facilities the same as the Single Cabin except for the premium interior.
One king-size bed, attached bath & toilet. Other facilities the same as the Single Cabin except for the premium interior.
Maximum People allowed on the cabins
- Single Cabin is for one person only. Additional people need to get a chair ticket for each person.
- Other cabins are for two people. Extra people need to get a chair ticket for each person.
Common facilities in Karnafuly Express
- The full ship is air-conditioned.
- Complimentary snacks will be provided with every ticket of Karnafuly Express. The menu consists of a packet of cookies, a slice of cake, and a mineral water bottle.
Child policy of Karnafuly Express
- Children below five years will be completely free of charges.
- Children above five years will require an adult ticket.
Ticket Cancellation Policy
- Tickets cannot be canceled or rescheduled or refunded within 24 hours before the Journey.
- If a passenger travels one way, the return ticket cannot be canceled or refunded.
- You need to provide your return date during the booking and need to travel on that specific date. Return travel on dates other than mentioned on the ticket will not be allowed.
Caution about planning a day trip to St. Martin’s Island by Karnafuly Express
Karnafully Express reportedly starts late from Cox’s Bazar if there is no favorable tide, making it reach St. Martin’s Island late. The same thing can happen on the return journey too.
It becomes a deal-breaker for the tourists who want to visit the island from Cox’s Bazar on a day trip. Sometimes, the window becomes just about an hour, which provides no time to explore the island.
It is highly advised not to plan for day trips to St. Martin’s Island from Cox’s Bazar via Karnafully Express. A better option would be coming to Teknaf and catching a ship from there during the season when they are running. It will give you a window of three hours to explore the island – a far better choice.
Other things to know about Karnafuly Express
There could be heavy rolling on the sea outside the winter period from November to March or during the bad weather. In these situations, the ship can shake heavily. Passengers have been reported to be sea-sick on a mass-scale during these situations. Be prepared for the seasickness while traveling on Karnafuly Express outside full winter.
Common questions about Karnafuly Express
What is the best time to start from Dhaka to catch the Karnafuly Express safely in the morning?
Catching a bus leaving at 8.00 pm from Dhaka would be the safest time.
Where does Karnafuly Express leave from?
BIWTA Jetty at North Nuniachhara on the airport road of Cox’s Bazar city.
How to reach BIWTA Jetty from Cox’s Bazar Bus Terminal?
By CNG or Auto, which will take about 30 minutes to reach.
Is it possible to immediately catch the bus for Dhaka upon returning from St. Martin’s Island by Karnafuly Express?
Normally, yes! But it depends on the weather and tide. If the ship starts late from St. Martin Island because of bad weather or unfavorable tide, it is highly likely to miss Dhaka’s last bus. The safest plan would be to staying the night at Cox’s Bazar upon returning from St. Martin’s Island, enjoy Cox’s Bazar the next day, and returning to Dhaka at night.
What time Karnafuly Express reaches Cox’s Bazar?
The scheduled time is at 8.30 pm.
What time the last buses for Dhaka leave?
At 10.00 pm mostly.
A note on responsible travel
St. Martin’s Island is an environmentally endangered place. Be responsible while traveling to St. Martin’s Island. Do not destroy or buy coral on the island. Do not throw water bottles, chips packets, or any other rubbish anywhere other than in a bin if you find one around, or carry them to the hotel and put in their bin. Keep the island clean for everyone else.
Have any other questions about traveling to St. Martin’s Island from Cox’s Bazar on Karnafuly Express? Let me know in the comments. I am happy to answer them all.
Have you ever traveled to St. Martin’s Island by Karnafuly Express? How was your experience? Share with everyone in the comments. Share this article with friends and help them travel to St. Martin’s Island by Karnafuly Express!
Check out our in-depth St. Martin’s Island travel guide for every detail on how to travel to St. Martin’s Island from Dhaka, Chittagong, and other places in Bangladesh. A must-read if you are planning to visit St. Martin’s Island for a hassle-free holiday.
Have a safe and memorable holiday on St. Martin’s Island!