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Bali to Gili T Fast Boat

London, United...
Level Contributor
30 posts
28 reviews
Bali to Gili T Fast Boat

I don’t think i’m the first one to get anxious after reading reviews of the Bali - Gili T crossing.. Some reviews sound awful.

We are travelling from Bali to Gili T in August, should the waters be quite calm? What is the safest company to use

We have looked at Pedang Bay with bluewater express but they have no availability for the date we want to go so may have to use the Sarangan port which takes nearly 2.5 hours to Gili T.

Is it really as awful as it sounds?

5 replies to this topic
Munich, Germany
Destination Expert
for Bali
Level Contributor
15,310 posts
95 reviews
1. Re: Bali to Gili T Fast Boat

Hi Kieran,

Generally the seastsate during the dry season, especially July to September is calm. Unusually there has been a poor seastate recently. This has led to cancellations.

"Some reviews sound awful" basically many of these types of reviews are from people who are generally anxious about boats, know nothing about boats and get seasick taking a bath.

I've seen plenty of people getting seasick on the Dover-Calais ferry.

These boats are not the Queen Mary/QE2

Either somewhat naïve or stupid comments like "I could smell fuel" - well yes boats have engines.

Then boats don't bother me - but then again when younger I used to work on trawlers in Cornwall in the middle of winter - and my cousins boat had a leaky exhaust.

Back in the day all and sundry could operate a boat service and some small boats used to go out in all weather/seastates. Led to uncomfortable crossings as the boat pilots went too fast for the seastate. On a few occasions damaging the boat but nothing more. These small boat operators have basically gone and the Bali "coastguard" authority has overall control. If they say no boats then no boats.

Try to find an incident in the last 5 years due to crossings and you won't find any. Just an unfortunate electrical fire in 2016.

In the last 10 years I don't think you'll find an accident.

Basically if the sea is safe but a bit choppy you'll feel more affect in a smaller boat.

If you are the type that gets any sort of motion sickness then a boat will make you feel unwell.

ITINERARY/SERVICES

Please give your exact overall Bali itinerary before and after Gilis. exactly where you will be staying.

there are numerous services. Bluewater Express has a rep as best service but they don't have the biggest boats. They are also the most expensive. They charge more for a discounted single out of Padangbai to Gilis than a Bali Ekajaya discounted return.

BALI EKAJAYA

Bali Ekajaya is often touted at the Tourist booths in Ubud and “southern resorts”.

Their Gili service (regardless of pickup in Ubud or “Southern Resorts”) is out of Padangbai (1h15 to Gili T).

They include free pickup from Ubud and all major ”southern resorts”. They will include free dropoff on return

Their standard price is IDR450k each way. You can haggle at the tourist booth on price. Expect to be able to get a discount especially if you want a return. Generally can haggle down a return for IDR600k.

They have a number of services daily

http://www.baliekajaya.com/

Note: All Gili services are turnaround services. They do drop-offs/pickups at Gili T, Air (sometimes Meno) a compulsory stop at Lombok mainland before returning to Bali. This means the return journey can be 45mins or more longer than the outbound depending on the route the Boat takes with the pickup/dropoffs (whether or not they make the compulsory Lombok stop last or in the middle).

Bali Ekajaya does the sequential route whereas "Bluewater Express" puts the Lombok stop in the middle before returning to Gili T then heading straight to Bali.

But as you have already noted from Gili T to Serangan is 2h30 open water.

Edited: 02 August 2018, 19:31
London, United...
Level Contributor
30 posts
28 reviews
2. Re: Bali to Gili T Fast Boat

Thank you very much for a really helpful reply. I don't mind boats, but obviously wouldn't enjoy being on an overcrowded boat in horrible conditions.

Before Gili T we are staying in the Seres Springs hotel in Ubud for 2 nights. I would rather have as short as possible journey on the boat so happy to take a longer car journey in Bali to a port that gets us to Gili T quicker on the water.

We are then staying on Gili T for 4 nights, after that we actually haven't booked the spare 3 nights we have but it will be on the mainland, likely either Sanur or Nusa Dua.

I would be happier booking online before we go so I know we have booked a safe company. I haven't come across Bali Ekajaya's name before - I'm assuming they have a good reputation if you have recommend them?

Munich, Germany
Destination Expert
for Bali
Level Contributor
15,310 posts
95 reviews
3. Re: Bali to Gili T Fast Boat

Hi Kieran,

I have no problem with www.baliekajaya.com

A lot shorter crossing out of Padangbai. Just remember on return it will be up to 1hr longer but that extra time is going around the local islands/Lombok doing the pickups/drop-offs so the real straight open water part will still be only 1h30 ish

The boats are completely fine. There has been occasions in the past where their drivers turned up late or other odd one trying to extract extra money for exact hotel dropoff (pickup wasn't an issue) but the worst that happened was that the driver dropped people off in central Sanur, Seminyak etc.

It is a personal thing if you book online. I actually think it is easier to book at a tourist booth as you are speaking face to face and I have more confidence they'll pick me up. Always thought if I booked online the booking may be lost in the noise and might forget the pickup.

In addition the pickup time could vary depending on how many pickups they are doing in the one van so the closer you book to the day more confident that the pickup time is accurate.

London, United...
Level Contributor
30 posts
28 reviews
4. Re: Bali to Gili T Fast Boat

Their reviews on Trip Advisor do not feel me with much confidence!! Every one is dreadful. It is only an hour and 15 from Pedang Bai though so definitely the quickest option.

Munich, Germany
Destination Expert
for Bali
Level Contributor
15,310 posts
95 reviews
5. Re: Bali to Gili T Fast Boat

Hi Kieran,

if you read between the lines much of the problems with Eka Jaya is customer service related rather than the boat itself. They also have some many routes you have to again read between the lines.

Recent issues with boat cancellations have highlighted their short comings.

You can also try Patagonia Express. They are a new kid on the block with a new boat. They appear for the most part to have handled recent issues a lot better.

Only thing with them is that they only do central point pickups/dropoffs for freerather than hotel pickups so factor that in.

Edited: 03 August 2018, 00:59
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