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Fast Boat Amed (Bali) to Gili Islands - avoid 'Amed Sea'

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Los Angeles, Chile
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Fast Boat Amed (Bali) to Gili Islands - avoid 'Amed Sea'


Our recent experience maybe useful to some of you considering the fast boat from Amed (Bali) to the Gili Islands.

We opted for a company named Amed Sea as they had the newest boat and a 9:00am departure.

The boat was extremely overloaded, there were no emergency exits inside the boat, no safety instructions, and no life jackets to be seen. I presume the life jackets may have been inside the front stowage area but this was packed with baggage.

As the boat was overloaded, there wasn't enough room for everyone to be inside the boat. Those at the back got soaked and those on the roof had to lie down as it was too rough for them to sit up.

The trip was extremely rough - at least 80% of the passengers were vomiting and a lot of the kids (and I'd guess a fair few adults) were terrified.

Although we managed not to join the vomiting majority, for our return journey we opted for the slow ferry from Gili Meno to Bangsal on Lombok ;)

Lombok, Indonesia
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1. Re: Fast Boat Amed (Bali) to Gili Islands - avoid 'Amed Sea'

Hi W,

Sorry to hear you had such an uncomfortable and potentially alarming trip from Amed to the Gili islands.

Be glad at least that you were on a boat from Amed as that is the closest departure point and therefore offers the shortest trip distance and times.

If you have a look at the list of forum topics for Lombok tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g297733-i9237-Lomb… you will note the Fastboat issues are discussed at some length there and on several different discussion topics.

Sometimes the discussion of the Fastboats is buried in a related topic.

The matter is also frequently raised on the Bali discussion forums.

Here is an example... tripadvisor.com/…42725218 and ...

The Fastboats are a fairly recent development and are flourishing in a near unregulated environment.

Operational suitability, safety standards and vessel suitability for open water operations in a region that often experiences some challenging conditions to seafarers is in general terms not well addressed by the Fastboat operators.

Some are better than others but arguably none of them are currently putting to sea in vessels with sufficient size, hull strength and the diesel in-board powerplants that operations such as this would normally demand.

The boats are light duty vessels more suited to inshore operations. They have thin skinned aluminum or fiberglass hulls, there are insufficient air sea rescue capabilities should something go wrong and the most commonly used crossing (Padang Bai to Gili islands) requires a sea trip of around 65 km, most of it on open water.

Once out of the protected waters of Padang Bai or the inshore areas of Lombok (including the Gili Islands) things can at times get quite challenging.

Plenty of these crossings are done in good sea conditions and without incident.

Many people who have used the services have enjoyed the trip and cannot see any significant problem with the services. Indeed many often post here on the forums and clearly state they have enjoyed the trip and found no significant problems with the service they used.

Reassurance is assisted by the relative heights of Mount Agung and Mount Rinjani (Indonesia's 3rd highest mountain and ranked 39th highest in the world by prominence).

Due to the significant prominence of these two mountains relative to the horizon a view of land is available throughout the entire journey when visibility conditions are normal.

Some people cross on mill pond flat seas under a blue sky with little or no wind.

Those ideal conditions can be deceptive, they can change and they do.

The boats soon display their inadequacies in heavy weather.

Several have already sunk.

So far all the serious mishaps have occurred close to shore and if they have sunk the passengers have been quick rescued by nearby craft.

Other boats have been run onto a beach of a reef, the most recent was a couple of weeks ago where a boat was run up onto a beach south of Padang Bai after the hull was breached and it started taking on water.

Mechanical failures further out sea have so far only terrified the passengers and delayed their trips.

A boat should not be departing overloaded, and you should not have boarded when you saw this happening.

If you were already aboard then you should have got off the boat and demanded a replacement voyage or your money returned.

It is just not worth the risk and the story you have recounted is a good testimony of the dangers and challenges in using this method of transport.

It is a long way to the airport from Amed, but it is also a long way to swim if things do not work out right.

The Bali to Lombok crossing can be done by air and there are many flights per day.

The ticket cost is normally between Rp200,000-300,000 and departure tax is Rp40,000 ex Bali and Rp25,000 ex Lombok.

Lombok has a newly opened International airport and there are airconditioned late model taxis, Airport buses, Gili island transfer and private car transport options available to people wishing to move on toward the west coast of the island.

The most common transfer points to the Gili islands are the public services at Bangsal or private speedboat charters at Teluk Nare/Teluk Kodek.

Perhaps consider adding your comments to some of the other recently active discussions on the Fastboats, such as at ... tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1940487-i25043-k5…



Edited: 11:20 am, August 10, 2012
Destination Expert
for Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Jomsom, Mustang Region, Namche Bazaar, Sagarmatha National Park, Annapurna Region
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2. Re: Fast Boat Amed (Bali) to Gili Islands - avoid 'Amed Sea'

Very nice reading from both of you! Thank you so much whiskey w and j_hurcules!

Melbourne, Australia
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for Lombok
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3. Re: Fast Boat Amed (Bali) to Gili Islands - avoid 'Amed Sea'

I also note that in the cases where boats have got into difficulty it is common for passengers to report that the crew obviously had little training or knowledge about what to do and even panicked themselves.

I fear it will take a tragedy to happen before the authorities take some action in regulating these services and ensuring that at least some level of safety standards are met. I also believe passengers should be made aware of what they are about to undertake, the distance involved and the absence of any sea rescue services should they encounter difficulties.

Golden Beach...
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4. Re: Fast Boat Amed (Bali) to Gili Islands - avoid 'Amed Sea'

story is starting to sound familar now...the more I read about the fast boats the more it concerns me that tourists are risking their lives.

Sounds like hell on highwater to me...

knowledge gives one choices...we will be flying and suggesting to others to fly over to Lombok/Gili's.

Thanks for sharing whiskey, its stories like yours that have convinced us to fly over.

Los Angeles, Chile
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5. Re: Fast Boat Amed (Bali) to Gili Islands - avoid 'Amed Sea'

Hi All,

Happy to see that some of you found the post useful :)

Thanks j_hurcules for your very informative and rational post.

After the very pleasant 10 minute slow boat from Gili Meno to Lombok we flew back to Bali on Lion Air and the air tickets were actually cheaper than a fast boat from Gili to Pagdang Bai - although of course we had to pay for a taxi to the airport.

Happy Travels!

6. Re: Fast Boat Amed (Bali) to Gili Islands - avoid 'Amed Sea'

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