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GETTING TO BANDA

Updated Sep 30, 2023, 16:00 (GMT +9) 

CHANGES:  Pelni updated schedule, Bahtera Nusantara back

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THIS IS THE LATEST INFORMATION WE HAVE ABOUT TRANSPORT. WE KINDLY ASK YOU TO READ THIS SECTION THOROUGHLY BEFORE ENQUIRING VIA EMAIL ON HOW TO GET TO BANDA.

Notice:

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:

PLEASE NOTE: The fast ferry Bahari Express 2B that used to cover the Ambon - Banda route has not been operating since 2019 and it does not seem it will ever resume operation, as now there is a newer ferry (Bahtera Nusantara 02) covering the route much more reliably.

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  • PELNI SHIPS

Big liners that cover various large routes throughout Indonesia. Currently there are three ships that include direct Ambon-Banda and Banda-Ambon trips in their routes roughly twice a month: NGGAPULU (8h trip), PANGRANGO (14h trip), SANGIANG (16-18h) and SABUK NUSANTARA 106 (15-16h 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). The Pelni service has improved quite a lot in the last couple of years, and now it is possible to have a pleasant trip overnight when getting a cabin, especially with SABUK and PANGRANGO. Cabins can now (Sep 2023) be reserved directly when booking tickets. Surcharge for a bed inside a cabin is IDR 150,000.

  • Status:

OPERATIONAL

  • Prices:

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

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. 

Sabuk106 = Sabuk Nusantara 106, white rows = to Banda, grey rows = from Banda:

  • NEW CAR FERRY BAHTERA NUSANTARA 02

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:

operational

  • 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:

  • 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:

WE RECOMMEND TO NOT RELY ON SAM AIR WHEN MAKING YOUR PLANS DUE TO:

1. unpredictable schedules

2. frequent spontaneous changes in dates

3. no clear reservation system (full according to the airline but then empty on the actual flight)

4. only limited (4-5) tickets per flight sold to non-Indonesian nationals

  • Prices:

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

  • Enquiries/Bookings:

    • Mitha: +62 822 1375 9485 (Whatsapp). This service only applies to guests who dive with us.

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