Traveling by boat ✅
Indonesia is a country of islands and the sea is always close by. When traveling through Indonesia you will also travel by water.
By ferry from Java to Bali
Ferries sail between the islands. If you take a tour by car across Java and Bali, the ferry will take you from Bali to Java. This crossing is made so often that you do not need to book in advance: the ferries sail back and forth 24 hours a day. You can take the car on the boat. Your driver knows exactly how to do this. The crossing takes less than an hour
From Bali to Lombok, Gili and Nusa Penida
From Bali you can travel to the next island: Lombok. The regular ferry from Bali to Lombok takes about 6 hours. You can get there in 1.5 hours by fast boat. You can also option for a stopover on the Gili islands or on Nusa-Penida. It is a 35-minute boat ride to Nusa-Penida.
Fast boats go to the Gili Islands from various places in Bali. The crossing takes about 1.5 hours. You can also go to the Gili Islands from Lombok. Here there is no need to take a fast boat. The regular ferry sails back and forward. The crossing takes about 20 minutes. It is great to cycle on the Gili Islands.
From Java to Karimunjawa
The Karimunjawa Islands are located above Semarang. These islands are a wonderfully authentic alternative to Bali. Read more about the Karimunjawa Islands>>>
From Jepara you can take the regular ferry but also choose the fast boat. For the timetable of the fast boat, check the Express Bahari>>>
A ferry between the islands
Starting in 1888, the Koninklijke Pakketvaart Maatschappij (KPM) provided ferry services between many islands. At that time the boat was the main means of transport between the islands and the government wanted stable connections between all the islands. PELNI (Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia) was founded in 1952 and in 1958 PELNI took over the services of the KPM.
Although more and more people are taking the plane, PELNI remains important, especially for the more remote islands and for people who cannot afford the plane. PELNI mainly sails on the longer routes. PELNI does not operate on shorter distances.
The timetable can be found on the website of PELNI >>>. You can book the tickets 2 months before the departure date.
If you are in Indonesia you should definitely take a boat trip. There are wonderful excursions and day trips on the water. Take a cruise on an old fishing boat in the port of Jakarta or in a small fishing port on the South coast of Java.
In Bali you can join the fishermen to spot dolphins at sunrise.
On Karimunjawa you can rent a boat with a crew for a day and have a BBQ on an uninhabited island. There are plenty of options. Do you like the idea?
Flores is not that touristy yet. Although it is easy to fly to Flores, the journey by boat is much more adventurous. The boat trip to Flores starts from Lombok. You sail on a simple wooden boat, where you sleep next to each other on mats. Depending on the tour you choose, you will be sailing for 2 to 4 nights. Along the way you will pass beautiful places including Komodo where the famous Komodo dragon lives. By boat you really get to know Indonesia, the country of the islands.