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Bali Transportation


There is four times as much sea in Indonesia as land and for many centuries transportationamong the islands has been principally by boat. Tiny ports are scattered all over the archipelago and the only way to reach many areas is by sea.
To trawl by boat you need plenty of time. Most ships are small and are at the mercy of the sea and the seasons. Think of it as a romantic journey and don't be in a hurry.
Pelni (Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia), the national passenger line, has 10 large ships (some 70 ships total) criss-crossing the archipelago carrying up to 1,500 passengers each. These boats travel on fixed schedules and the first and second class cabins are comfortable. Check the route map above for destinations served and contact Pelni's main office for a current schedule.
The new German-built passenger ships are modem and comfortable. Fares are fixed, and there are up to 5 classes, determining how many people share a cabin and kinds of services. Book through travel agents in Bali.

To and From Bali

  • Java to Bali. If you travel overland from Java, you have to take the ferry. It's a pleasant half hour trip from Ketapang to Gilimanuk, with many private and state-run services that run continuously at 15-25 minute intervals. Getting on can be a hassle during the Indonesian holidays when you may have to wait several hours: best avoided.
  • Bali to Lombok. You may also want to venture over to Lombok. Most ferries leave from Padangbai in east Bali; there are ferries daily every two hours beginning at 6 am and the fare is Rp10,000. The rate for cars is Rp150,000.
  • A more luxurious alternative on this route is the Mabua Intan Express, a 40-meter catamaran that speeds at 60 km/h between Benoa and Lembar, taking just 2 hours. Reclining seats, overhead lockers, a bar and even special facilities for the handicapped make this a luxury affair. There's one catch: in rough weather the cat literally jumps over the waves, causing a lot of upset stomachs.
    Departures from Benoa are at 8arn and 2.30pm; from Lembar at 5pm. There are three classes: Economy Class for $25. Emerald Class or Lower Deck costs $30 and includes a juice and a coffee. Diamond Class or Upper Deck costs $25 and includes a snack, juice, coffee and transfers at both ends of the line: on Lombok to or from Matararn or Sengiggi; on Bali to or from Nusa Dua, Kuta, Sanur or Denpasar. Mabua (Benoa harbor, Bali) or (Lembar harbor, Lombok).



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