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Please keep in mind that even though these travel options have been mostly reliable, this is still a very remote area of Indonesia -which is a great part of its charm. It is recommended to avoid tight flight schedules/connections and have a flexible plan if possible due to occasional problems with local transportation.

The Banda Islands are easiest accessed from Ambon. Direct flights to Ambon with Lion Air, Batik Air, Garuda and others are available from Jakarta, Surabaya, Makassar, Sorong and some smaller airports in Maluku (Wings Air from Tual) and West Papua. From Bali, Ambon is easily reached with Garuda or Lion air with a stopover in Makassar or Surabaya.

Once in Ambon, these are the options to get to Banda:

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Big liners that cover various large routes throughout Indonesia. Currently there are 4 ships that include direct Ambon-Banda and Banda-Ambon trips in their routes roughly twice a month: NGGAPULU (8h trip), PANGRANGO (14-16h trip), SANGIANG (14-16h) and SABUK NUSANTARA 106 (14-16h trip). They all depart from Ambon city harbour. Nggapulu also makes it possible to reach Banda from Tual. Pelnis are the slowest, cheapest and most reliable option (no random cancellations). Cabins can be arranged with the crew once on board (IDR 800,000-1,000,000 directly to the crew).

  • Status:


  • Enquiries/Bookings Nggapulu, Sangiang and Pangrango:

    • (website only works from within Indonesia/ with Indonesian IP)

    • through the Pelni app (payment possible via bank transfer or through Indomaret supermarkets)

    • or via Whatsapp through Mitha: +62 812-4720-9835 (she needs your travel date and a photo of your passport, normally, tickets can be booked 2-3 weeks before departure until the day of departure; payment is possible via WISE to her BRI bank account). Booking for tickets through Mitha ONLY for guests who dive with us. 

    • Prices: Economy: IDR 175,000 per pax incl. booking fee

  • Bookings Sabuk Nusantara 106:

    • Tickets can only be bought at the Pelni office in Ambon (for trips from Ambon) or at the harbours in Banda and Amahai (for trips from Banda and Amahai, respectively). Don't worry: tickets don't sell out. Sabuk 106 is subsidized so the ticket price is only ~IDR30,000. This ticket includes a bed in a large room. Upgrades to cabins can be done on board directly with the crew: bed in 8-bed cabin IDR 250,000, cabin for 2 pax IDR 600,000

Schedule confirmed for the ongoing month and predicted for the consecutive months. Around Christmas, New Year and Idul Fitri, schedules may change spontaneously. For the rest of the year, the schedules are usually predictable. A delay of a few hours is common for Nggapulu. 

Cantika Inova

Cantika Inova at Banda harbour

Premium class

Premium class seats

VIP class

VIP class

Executive class

Executive class seats


Started operating between Tulehu (Ambon) and Banda in February 2024. A single journey takes approximately 6 hours. Tickets can be bought in the Fast boat office before the entrance of Tulehu Harbour or in advance though John. The capacity is 240 people.

  • Status:


  • Prices:

    • Executive IDR 550,000​

    • VIP IDR 750,000

    • Premium (includes lunch) IDR 1,000,000

  • Schedule:

    • Tulehu-Banda: Thursdays, 9:00 am​

    • Banda-Tulehu: Sundays, 9:00 am


Overnight trip in a comfortable and clean new ferry, departing from Ambon city harbour. A choice of airplane-style seats in a common, open area with large TV screens where you can watch a wide variety of Korean dramas and action movie flops and bunk beds in a separate, usually quieter area are available for booking. The ship also has a large cafeteria stocked up with instant noodles, hot and cold beverages, snacks, (usually) smiley staff and sometimes even a good assortment of Moluccan love songs. Additionally, there are private cabins (VIP rooms, they call them, for 4 pax maximum, with 4 beds, bathroom, AC and TV), although availability is limited.

  • Status:

has not operated yet in 2024

  • Prices:

    • Airplane-style seat (large open area): IDR 145,000 per pax

    • Bunk bed (common, quieter area): IDR 195,000 per pax

    • Private cabin (max 4 pax, 4 beds, bathroom, AC, TV): IDR 600,000 additional charge per room. Every passenger must purchase a regular ticket (seat or bunk bed).

  • Enquiries/Bookings:

Pak Jery (travel agent in Ambon): +62 852 9959 1075 (WhatsApp)

The location of Pak Jery's office for picking up your tickets is here.

  • Schedule: 

In average once per week. Schedule gets released once per week, so be spontaneous. The company operating the ferry doesn't seem to understand that long-term planning is crucial. The entire Banda tourism community has issued several complaints but the operating company (PD Panca Karya) seems to care more about the government subsidies they receive than the passengers they should cater for. 

We update the schedule in the table above together with the Pelni ferries.

  • Sam Air FLIGHT

Sam Air is currently operating the Ambon-Banda route with a small 12-seater plane. The fastest option, but ticket availability and luggage allowance is quite limited (10Kg max, excess baggage fee per extra Kg, subject to availability when maximum airplane weight not yet reached). Since it is a subsidised route, the schedule seems quite "flexible", with not so rare changes and cancellations (plane maintenance, weather, overbooking, etc), so if you have a tight flight connection schedule it is generally a good idea to have a backup plan with either the Bahtera ferry or a Pelni ship,


  • Status:

not operational in 2024

  • Prices:

IDR 400,000 with airport taxes and agent fee. Excess baggage fee over 10Kg (~IDR25,000/kg).

  • Enquiries/Bookings:

    • Ambon-Banda: Ibu Desi +62 852 4316 0770

    • Banda-Ambon: Pak Faisal +62 813 5436 7157

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