GETTING TO BANDA
Updated 12th March 2020 (You may be seeing and old version. Please click on your browser refresh button to see the latest update)
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.
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 problem 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 and Makassar 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: If you need to plan your dates far ahead -buy plane tickets, book hotel room, etc- and the transport schedules are still unclear, please plan with the fast ferry schedule below, which is the most reliable option in the high season months (March/April and October/November) -unlikely to change schedule in the future.
FAST FERRY (recommended for March/April and October/November)
WILL OPERATE WHEN THERE ARE ENOUGH PASSENGERS
TULEHU (Ambon)-BANDA: Tuesday and Saturday, around 9am
BANDA-TULEHU (Ambon): Wednesday and Sunday, around 9am
The Express Bahari 2B fast ferry covers the route from Tulehu (Ambon Island) to Banda twice a week: Tulehu-Banda Tuesday and Saturday at 9 am Banda-Tulehu Wednesday and Sunday at 9 am. The trip takes 5 to 6 hours.
The fast ferry has been trying to depart every Tuesday and Saturday since the beginning of March 2020, but until now they have not had enough passengers to cover operational costs. It should start operating as soon as enough passengers turn out a the harbour in Tulehu. For alternatives in March/April 2020, please have a look at the Pelni schedule -there are options every week and most of the overnight trips are quite comfortable when getting a cabin.
Very reliable option in high season, but they never provide clear dates when they will stop and resume operating in low/off season. In the past few years, they have been starting the service sometime in late February, operating very reliably until mid-May/early June, when the service usually stopped. It resumed operation sometime in September, once the weather allowed it, and ran very reliably until December when they would announce -without much notice- that the service gets suspended until the following February.
Tickets do not need to be booked, they are bought in the harbour before boarding. The boat is quite large and we never heard it ran out of space in the past. The price for an economy ticket is IDR 415,000 (recommended), VIP is 650,000.
Tulehu can be easily reached by taxi from the airport or from Kota Ambon in less than an hour for around IDR 200,000 -enough time to reach Tulehu harbour after landing around 6 am or 7 am in Ambon.
CHANGING SCHEDULE Please contact Susi Air Ambon to confirm the schedule and BOOK, contact details below.
Susi Air (https://susiair.com/) is operating the Ambon-Banda route with a small plane (Let L-410, 12 seats). They are the fastest option, but ticket availability and luggage allowance can be quite limited. Also, schedules have suffered very frequent changes/cancellations in the first half of 2019 with very short notice, although we hope the situation will improve in the high season months (September - November), as it already seems better in July/August.
Adult and child : Price around IDR 350,000 (around IDR 400,000 through agent)
BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE 10Kg (around IDR 20,000 per extra Kg)
For more information/reservation of ticket, please contact:
Umar (travel agent): +62 853 5485 8245
Susi Air Ambon : +62 813 4412 3335
Or Hotline 24 Hours Call Center:
+62 811 211 3080 / +62 811 211 3090
PELNI SHIPS (recommended for December-February and May-September)
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ADDITIONAL SHIP SABUK NUSANTARA 106 DOES NOT APPEAR IN THE PELNI WEBSITE/SCHEDULE AS IT SUBCONTRACTED BY PELNI. YOU CAN CHECK THE SCHEDULE BELOW.
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 twice a month: NGGAPULU (8h trip), PANGRANGO (14h trip), and SABUK NUSANTARA 106 (14h trip). Departure 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. It is not possible to buy cabin tickets at the ticket office, they only sell economy, but you can get a cabin upgrade by talking to the crew on the ship (information desk inside the ship), and paying extra (usually around IDR 250,000 per bed).
PELNI Ambon office phone: +62 911 348219; 353161; 342328
National Call Center number: +62 21 162
The full schedule and current prices are available online at www.pelni.co.id/en
The schedule below is NOT OFFICIAL UNLESS EXPLICITLY STATED BELOW THE MONTH NAME. If it is not official (table will be in YELLOW), meaning Pelni has not published it yet, it is only our extrapolation of the current schedule. While this is still quite reliable -it rarely changes- and will allow you to plan your dates to travel to Banda, please keep in mind there is always the possibility that there could be changes -from small delays to extremely rare date changes due to ship maintenance.
Please note departure times are in 24h format (departure on the 10th of April at 01:00 means you have to be in the harbour the night of the 9th of April). Please use the scrolling bars at the bottom of the tables to see the whole month.