Fast Boat to Lombok

Bluewater Express - Bali to Lombok Fast Boat

Bluewater Express – Bali to Lombok Fast Boat

Most vacationers choose this option as a quick and convenient way to get from Bali to Lombok and from Bali to the Gili Islands. From the most common departure points in Bali, this method is as fast or faster than flying. There are plenty of fast boat companies out there offering seemingly similar services. One company might be charging a price that is too good to be true, and like most things, the cheapest is not the best especially when it’s your life or your children’s life in the balance. Don’t look for the cheapest price, the key here is finding the best value. The cheapest boat will likely be in poorer condition, with uncomfortable seats, and possibly even lacking properly trained staff and required safety equipment such as an adequate supply of life vests, life rafts, emergency location beacons and so on. Some of the fast boat companies have also been known to overfill their boats, sometimes leaving passengers without a seat.

The better companies, however, will include not only a safe and reliable boat ride but also a free shuttle to the harbor, free wi-fi at the harbor, coffee and tea before boarding, reading materials both at the harbor and on the boat, and drinking water on the boat. They will also have newer boats with more powerful yet efficient engines, modern GPS and radar systems, and life vests and life rafts of ample supply. Many offer the option of relaxing on the sun deck, allowing you to feel the breeze and gaze at the beautiful ocean landscape, offering unobstructed views of both Mt. Agung and Mt. Rinjani nearly every day. A company such as Blue Water Express will offer all of the above, as it’s the longest running fast boat company on Bali.

Most boats depart from Padang Bai, the same harbor as the public ferry. Some companies depart from Amed, which is close to Padang Bai, and a select few depart from Serangan, an island nearby Sanur that’s connected to Bali via a short bridge. Taking a boat from Serangan speeds up the entire process, and saves you an hour or more car ride with only a slightly longer boat ride.

Depending on the company and departure point, the boat ride to the Gili Islands or the Lombok harbors of Teluk Nara and Teluk Kode can take anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours in calm waters. Teluk Kode and Teluk Nara are the harbors closest to the three most popular Gili Islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. The harbor area can sometimes be referred to as Bangsal.

Gili Cat Fast Boat Bali Lombok

Gili Cat Fast Boat Bali Lombok

The companies usually offer two departure times prior to noon. Some of the more established companies have an afternoon option during the high season as well. The same boats that take you to the Gilis or Lombok are then loaded up with the passengers returning to Bali. Schedules are subject to change, so it’s best to check the company’s website for up to date information.

When choosing which fast boat company to go with, it is important to take note of a few things. Buying from vendors on the street can be not only aggravating, but it’s also possible that you won’t get the boat you are offered or you will be placed on an overfilled boat. The roadside tour agents can be dubious and below average. The best protocol is to buy from reputable agents, or whenever possible, directly from the company (discounts can usually be granted when booking online directly from a company). When you see a stellar deal simply pose the question, “why is this ticket so cheap?” Use the internet to your advantage, and conduct further research, checking websites of customer feedback such as TripAdvisor.com. Bluewater Express and Gili Cat are among the top players of Lombok fast boat, having many years of industry experience, reliable and comfortable boats, trained staff and other benefits over the numerous other companies.

Pros

  • Fast and convenient access from Bali to Lombok and the Gili Islands
  • Enjoyable boat ride with wonderful views
  • Better companies offering free shuttle pick up service
  • The best “time vs. cost” value when comparing with other means of transportation

Cons

  • Roadside vendors carelessly selling the fast boat service of many companies, usually urging customers to buy the one that pays them the highest commission
  • Many companies with lower quality boats and services (sometimes overbooking passengers)
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