GETTING TO BANDA

Updated 20th April 2022 17:00 (GMT +9)

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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.

  • NEW 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)

  • Schedule: April 2022

    • Banda - Ambon: every Sunday at 10 pm, arriving in Ambon around 8 am the next day

    • Banda - Tual: every Friday at 2 pm, arriving in Tual at 5 am on Saturdays

    • Tual - Banda: every Saturday at midnight, arriving in Banda Sundays 3 pmAmbon - Banda: everyThursday at 9 pm, arriving in Banda around 7 am the next day

Bahtera Nusantara 02

The new ferry Bahtera Nusantara 02

Airplane-style seats area

Passengers napping on the comfortable seats.

Bunk beds area

Good for sleeping without feeling too lonely.

Cabin access area

So-called VIP rooms behind these doors.

Cafeteria

Keeping it clean.

Ro-Ro cargo bay

In case you need to bring your supercar.

  • 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:

OPERATIONAL

  • Prices:

Around IDR 350,000 with airport taxes. Excess baggage fee over 10Kg.

  • Enquiries/Bookings:

  • Schedule:

Note: AMQ = Ambon airport, NDA = Banda airport. Pairs of times (i.e. NDA 8:03/8:35) mean arrival to and departure from that airport (click image to enlarge)

schedule April 2022

The airplane

Airplane model may vary, size may not.

Banda landing approach

Banda, also beautiful from the air.

Banda airport landing strip

Drone picture -no worries, plane never lands like this.

Banda airport buildings

Very short transfers between terminals.

  • 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), 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. It is not possible to buy cabin tickets at the ticket office or website, 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).

  • Status:

OPERATIONAL

  • Prices:

    • Economy: around IDR 110,000 per pax.

  • Schedule:

Notes: Pairs of times (i.e. Ambon 12:00 - ... / Ambon ... - 16:00) mean arrival to and departure from that port

schedule April 2022

schedule May 2022

Sabuk Nusantara 106 Pelni ship

Sabuk, the newest, cleanest but slowest Pelni vessel (15-16h trip).

Nggapulu Pelni ship

Nggapulu, the fastest, biggest but not the cleanest Pelni ship (8h trip).

Pangrango Pelni ship

Pangrango, somewhere in between in terms of cleanliness and speed (14h trip).

Banda harbour

A harbour with character.