I use it often. It is very affordable as you say but a bit slow at 4 hours crossing time. sometimes you have to wait an hour for your turn to dock. Depending on where you are starting in Bali and where you want to go in Lombok it is a good option. It departs from Padangbai which is a nice place to spend a couple of nights and docks in Lembar which is about an hour from the south coast, 30minutes from Seketong Peninsula or an hour from Senggigi.
Your other options are to fly - it may not be as expensive as you think with prices from about Rp250,000. The most expensive option tends to be the fast boats which dock in north Lombok. Ok if you are going to the Gili islands but if you are heading down to Kuta the least convenient and most costly option as one of our guests is discovering today!
The current cost for ferry service between Padang Bai and Lembar (Bali to Lombok):
• Passenger Adult Rp. 36,000
• Passenger Child Rp. 23,000
• Motorcycle Rp. 101,000
• Sedan/Car Rp. 659,000
• Large Bus Rp. 2,168,000
This link indonesiaferry.co.id/assets/data/image/bigta… is the defining source for that information.
Lombok Network appear to have updated their page and have provided some good accurate and useful information.
However do be cautioned that many information sources on the internet are woefully out of date and highly misleading.
That the total trip time may be quite different to the commonly anticipated 4.5 hour voyage time.
Boarding delays, sailing delays, weather condition, docking delays, and unloading delays can significantly add to the standard voyage time.
Your point of origin on Bali, and your desired destination on Lombok are undefined.
That will have quite a bearing on your total trip time and your comfort.
A trip using the Ferry, but departing by road from South Bali with a Gili island destination can readily take up to 11 hours in total trip time.
This may seem extraordinarily unlikely.
However, if all the components of the trip are summed in, including the frequent delays on the road from South Bali to Padang Bai on the east coast of Bali then you can determine such times.
Similarly the Fastboat total trip times are commonly understated, and all the various anomalies, delays and messing about commonly lead to trip times of 4.5 to 5 hours from South Bali through to a Gili island.
Some (Fastboat) trips of over 4 hours just on the water are discussed on the Forums, these arising from engine problems or failures, or heavy seas slowing the trip.
A total 6 hour trip was recently described on the Forums, and this appears to be a common experience.
Lombok_Lover has given some good advice above, do consider the total trip times, and the total point to point costs. Even to the Gili islands from a south Bali departure point should be achievable in approximately 5 hours allowing appropriate time at the 2 airports, and the road time. Bear in mind the roads on Lombok are normally free of the congestion on Bali. Many people seem wary of a two hour road trip on Lombok required to access a location distant from the airport, however they instead choose to sit in a vehicle on a chocked road on Bali for an equal or longer period a misjudged attempt to avoid the alternative of a nice scenic drive up the west coast of Lombok.
If you are going to visit someone such as Lombok_Lover at her popular Homestay at Kuta, South Lombok you will discover that is only around 20 minutes or so in a taxi from the airport, will no doubt cost around Rp40,000 on the meter (please confirm this taxi cost to Kuta Gemma) + the standard (Central Lombok rate) Airport Taxi Service Fee of Rp10,000.
Just fly, unless you want to take the Ferry. It does provide and interesting insight into Indonesian inter-island travel, has some nice views if travelling in daylight on a nice day, and the road trips at either end may still offer some engaging vistas, even if the trip up the coast of Bali is a non-stop traffic jam.
If you use the Ferry pay then do pay very close attention to your transfer requirements to and from the two ports.
You are well advised to work out those details in advance of undertaking the trip.
Public ferry is very affordable sea transport in this area. I use often, especially when I need to carry a vehicle between islands.
Just about the transfer time. It's about 4-5 hours between your first step and last step on the ferry. The crossing time is only 3- 3.5 hours, but docking takes much more time.
-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-
This post has been removed at the author's request. The author may repost if desired.
Posts on the TripAdvisor forums may be edited for a short period of time. Once the edit period has expired, authors may update their posts by removing and reposting them.
To read more about editing your posts, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/help/how_to_edit_your_posts
Yes, it must be borne in mind that these ferries are the primary lifeline between the islands.
Nearly all the goods travel required by Lombok and Sumbawa come in on the ships, thousands of passengers use them and they sail 24/7, all year except Nyepi.
They can be interesting to experience just for that reason alone, even if it does get a bit drawn out sometimes.
The public ferry is the usual form of transport for most locals being the most affordable. Many passengers prefer to catch the nighttime services as the water tends to be calmer at night. Everyone heads straight for the seating area and stretches out across a few chairs to try and sleep. There are also sleeping cabins available for a bit more, but the are not too clean.
Ive had some nice crossings at night, watching the dolphins surf the bow wave.
My destination is Gili Trawangan, so what would be the best way to get there when the ferry arrives in Lombok? And thank you everyone for your advice! :)
Taxi or a privately arranged driver and car is probably your best solution.
There is a link concerning Taxis in the 'Top questions about LOMBOK' section in the top right hand corner of this page.
If wanting to use a private driver then book one ahead, it will likely cost less and provide a much better outcome than selecting one at the port after arrival.
I always go at might but I know my way around. You might feel unsettled doing that, and you would miss out on the scenic aspect. Avoid an afternoon trip as the sea might get a bit boisterous, mornings are (normally) calmer.
Feel comfortable about asking some more questions after you look around a bit more.
Also look http://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Lombok here for some info.Edited: 11:36 am, January 15, 2013
You can use shuttle service from Bali to Gili Trawangan. This service includes car transport from departure point in Bali, ferry ticket from Padangbai harbor to Lembar, car transport from Lembar harbor to Bangsal harbor, and public boat ticket from Bangsal harbor to Gili T.
If you plan to do it by yourself, probably you need a private car or taxi from Lembar harbor to Bangsal.
The cabins that Sudiah mentioned are staff cabins, rather than passenger cabins, so yes they are not too clean and all the staffs belongings are all in there with you. I usually pay about Rp50,000 for a cabin and it is definitely worth it for a bit more comfort and privacy if taking a night ferry. Sometimes we even take a cabin in the day - just so we can lie down and sleep to pass the time.