From mid-May to early September, the vintage vessel M/S Helge sails between Svendborg and Valdemars Slot (60kr, 55 minutes). En route it makes four intermediate stops. First is Vindebyøre (Svendborg Sund camping ground; 30kr, 10 minutes), then the popular beach area of Christiansminde (30kr, 15 minutes), pretty Troense (60kr, 30 minutes) and Grasten on Thurø Island. It departs Svendborg harbour at 10am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm with extra July departures at 4.30pm, 6.30pm and 8.30pm. You can use it as a sightseeing tour (60kr one way) or a short-hop transport option riding two stops for 30kr.
Ærøfærgerne runs year-round car ferries to Ærøskøbing (up to 12 times daily, 75 minutes). Tickets are return fares that can equally be combined as open-jaw combinations with any other route off the island. For most of the year the return fare is 80/40/166kr per adult/child/car, but between late June and mid August you'll pay 212/106/463kr. Bicycles cost 29kr at any time. If you have a car it’s wise to reserve a few days ahead, maybe a week or two for summer weekends.
To Other Islands
The car ferry Højestene runs to Drejø (80 minutes) via Skarø (35 minutes) departing at 7.30am, 11am, 2.45pm and 5.30pm with an extra 8.15pm sailing on Fridays plus some Sundays and holidays. Last return at 5.15pm (6.50pm Fridays). From late June to late August you can also leave for those islands at 8.30am and 5pm daily on the faster Sea Hawk passenger boat (100kr return), though with a maximum of 12 passengers it's wise to pre-book on sunny days. The Sea Hawk also makes it possible to start from Lyø (accessible from Faaborg) or Avenakø and hop back seeing three islands in a day for a few hours apiece. Or to jump between Skarø and Drejø at 12.10pm, 2.35pm or 5.25pm, returning to Svendborg from Drejø/Skarø at 4.05/4.30pm and 7.05/7.30pm.
Most of the year, the little Hjortøboen ferry makes two daily return trips to Hjortø (only one on Saturdays), but during the summer holiday season there is an extra run that stops at Skarø on the return leg.
Any one-day combination of rides from Svendborg costs adult/child/bicycle 100/60/20kr or 120/85/30kr if you combine with the Ø-Færgen ferry from Avenakø to Faaborg.
Bus & Train
Trains leave Odense for Svendborg twice an hour (78kr, 42 minutes). Bus 931 stops in Svendborg between Faaborg (52kr, 50 minutes) and Nyborg (72kr, 50 minutes). Both train and main bus stations are north of the Ærø ferry terminal, on Toldboldvej, but for Langeland, it's better to pick up bus services at the Vestergade stop.