Travelling by Ferry in Indonesia
As an alternative to hopping on a plane to connect to your next destination, why not take a ferry if you are travelling between the smaller islands in the archipelago and in particular East Nusa Tenggara. It’s not only a relaxing way to travel but you get a chance to observe the coastlines of the islands as well as meeting the locals.
The newest addition to these services is the Kapal Ferry Cepat, or ASDP fast ferries. Two of these ferries connect Nusa Tenggara with the island of Bali and Surabaya in Java as well as from Surabaya to Kalimantan. The prices are reasonably structured and I would opt for a business class cabin if your budget stretches a little. This is mainly because of the comfort factor. Here’s their website: www.ferry-asdp.co.id/english.
In the far eastern regions of the archipelago, and in particular Kalimantan, try and use the river networks if you intend travelling inland rather that travel by road or plane-hopping.
The other alternative to getting around on the water is by using Pelni passenger liners and at present they operate 29 of them travelling to various locations. Although a tad more expensive, for the money you lay out you get to see a lot more of the Indonesian coastline and even deck-out to get a few rays and improve your suntan!. Here’s the Pelni website: www.pelni.co.id
Pelni are an excellent shipping line and their vessels have four classes and one of economy. Personally I opted for third class and found it great value for money the one time I used their vessels.