Why not brave yourself and travel to Bali by taking a ferry? There’s more to the tropical Paradise of Bali than the island itself. For one, there are small islands to the east of Bali such as the Gili Islands and Nusa Lembongan and Penida. Furthermore, there is also Lombok which is another island that you definitely cannot miss. Last but not least, if you want to get a different taste of Indonesia you can head West to Java, which is the main island of Indonesia and hosts the capital city. These islands can bring you an amazing experience, with many places and spots that offer breathtaking views.
While there are many transportation options available, the main thing that locals use is ferries. They are convenient in a way that they accept passengers who brought their vehicles with them. You can get a different side to Bali or the lives of Indonesian people in general as the sun rises or sets.
In this article, though, we’ll be mainly focusing on public ferries to Bali. We’ll explain the routes and services available for a trip back to Bali after your great adventure in other islands so that you can have more information to plan ahead and schedule your time in the other islands. Here is all you need to know about ferries to Bali!
(Please note that due to COVID-19, there might be some drastic changes to ship/boat routes and regulations surrounding it)
Ferries to Bali from other locations
There are four nearby locations that you can go back and forth with a public ferry. For some of them, you can just go straight between your location and Bali, while others require you to move to a different island. Those four places include Gili Islands, Lombok, Penida/Lembongan, and Java Island.
1. Gili Islands
If you want to travel from the Gili Islands back to Bali, You’ll have to ride a public speedboat from either three of the islands to Lombok. This is because there are no direct public ferry routes from Bali to the Gili Islands. Average ticket costs for a public speed boat (that’s the equivalent of a public ferry from Lombok to Gili islands) should be no more than 20k Rupiah for a one-way trip. Your destination will usually be Bangsal port before going to Padang Bai.
It’s certainly perfect for a scenic route where you stay for a few more nights in Lombok, but we wouldn’t recommend it if you’re going straight to Bali. You will still need to get a ride to Lembar port, which can go up to 150-160k IDR for a ride. As an alternative, we recommend fast boat services. To buy a ticket for a boat from Gili Islands, please go to the public ferry ticket counter that should be available for every island.
Tip: usually the provider will be written as ‘public ferry ticket counter’ rather than a normal company name, be sure to read reviews and know whether the location is a scam or not. For Gili Air, in particular, their ticket should be right in front of the port. Look for the name ‘Karya Bahari’ if you want to be really sure.
If you want to go from Lombok to Bali, you’ll have to buy your ticket at Lembar harbor. The destination harbor in Bali will usually be Padang Bai. It will usually cost 36k-60k IDR for an adult person without a vehicle to buy a ticket. If you bring a motorcycle with you, then the cost should be 146k IDR for two persons on a motorcycle. If you’re on a trip and brought a sedan/car with you, the cost can go up to 1100k IDR for the whole group + the vehicle (which you will receive two sheets, one for the pier and one for the ferry).
Travel time is usually 4 to 5 hours, but you will get a nice and slow ride on top of Lombok Strait before arriving at Padang Bai. Even so, the experience can be a hit or miss sometimes due to crowdedness and lack of sanitary facilities. Simply put, don’t expect anything special. Be really careful not to mistake vendors for fakes, as they will rip you off by selling an incomplete ticket with prices higher than the moon. Some of them might even try to approach you as you try to find the official vendor. The official name of the vendor is PT. ASDP Indonesia Ferry and the name of the location is PT Pelabuhan Indonesia III. so make sure to get it right!
When it comes to ferry services from Nusa Penida or Lembongan, you can take a public ferry from Nusa Penida Port between Kutagi and Mentigi beach. The ferry here will take you to Padang Bai. The name of the official vendor is Port Roro Nusa Jaya Abadi. The travel time is not as long as Lombok, as Nusa Penida is much closer to Bali.
Getting to Bali will usually cost 30-50k IDR per adult person without a vehicle. If you brought a motorcycle with you, the costs should be around 120k for 2 persons on a motorcycle. You will need to come to the place in person to buy the ticket. Scammers are also lurking here, so be vigilant and just say no to them.
Last but not least there is Java island. Ferries here operate 24/7 and will usually come every 15 to 20 minutes. The route is called Ketapang-Gilimanuk, as it corresponds to the islands’ port names. You can buy the ticket at ‘Pelabuhan Penyeberangan Ketapang’ (if you search it on Gmaps, it’ll show four locations. Pick the top one near Dermaga 3). Make sure to not walk straight into the port and head to the building first to buy your ticket.
The ticket price here is very cheap, as it averages for 6k-8.5k IDR per person. If you came with a motorcycle, the cost should be 27k IDR for two persons and the vehicle. If you bring a Sedan/car with you, the cost should be 183k IDR for the whole group plus the vehicle. Again, be careful of scammers!
Tips for a smooth sailing ferry ride to Bali
1. Be careful of scammers!
We really cannot emphasize this more to you. Make sure to not get mixed up or tricked by just ignoring any sort of offers being given to you by random people around the port.
2. Always have your passport or ID before buying a ticket
Often the vendors will ask your ID and passport to verify your identity before you can use their ferry service.
3. You can buy your ticket online for some ferry services
We mentioned the company PT. ASDP Indonesia Ferry, right? Well, it turns out they actually have an online ticket booking service. Just visit www.indonesiaferry.co.id or download the app ferizy on your favorite app store. Just need to check the port that you are leaving from and the port that you are going to and voila! Be sure to follow along with the rules and be on time so that you won’t miss the ship. (tip: Lombok is in Nusa Tenggara Barat or West Nusa Tenggara)
4. Always prepare cash
When riding a ferry to Bali it’s always good to prepare some cash for emergencies. There may be a time that you need to buy some things that require you to pay with cash. So, having cash is definitely needed.
Thank you for reading! We hope you like our article on ferries to Bali. Just to review, we’ve given you info on how to ferry your way back from Bali’s nearest Island to the Island of the Gods, including common routes and ports that ferries usually frequent. We’ve also given you some tips to make sure your ferry ride goes smooth.
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