1. How do I get to place of departure?
(We are happy to help and assist booking any additional transportation as long as it is paid for in total upon booking)
To get to the Gili Islands from Bali (1) you can take a fast boat direct to Gili, (2) take the public ferry to the port of Lembar in Lombok and then get a van or taxi to Bangsal where you can get a water taxi to the Gilis, (3) fly to Mataram and then take a taxi to Bangsal where you can get a water taxi to the Gilis. The fastest choice is the direct fast boat. The fast boat, and the plane plus taxi cost about the same. The public ferry option is the cheapest but it can take a long time.
Our Take Bone Rate cruise departs from Bira in south Sulawesi. Most of our passengers transit Bali. To get to or from Labuan Bajo (Sunda Island Cruise, Komodo Cruise) most passengers fly. There are two or three airlines that service this route, and there are daily flights in both directions. Prices vary according to airline and how early you book your flight ticket. We can book flights for you but require you to pay in full at time of booking. If you are adventurous and have lots of time, you can buy a combination of ferry and bus travel back to Lombok and on to Bali. These tickets are sold by the travel agencies in Labuan Bajo. They can take up to three days of non-stop travel (or you can decide to break your journey along the way) and are quite inexpensive.
For our Take Bone Rate Cruise, you fly to Makassar in Sulawesi and then get a taxi or a series of public buses to Bira.
Whichever cruise you decide to take with us, we give you full instructions on where, when and how to join the boat before your cruise begins.
2. What do I need to bring on the boat with me?
Swimwear, caps, cameras and just the usual things you travel with! We provide bedding and towels on board, so you don’t need to bring that. There are shops available on the main islands to buy what you’re missing, but please note that you cannot expect to find western products and medicines (special batteries, tampons, etc)
3. Do I need to take malaria medication for any of the cruises?
Malaria is not currently endemic in any of the places we visit and we ourselves do not take malaria medication, and just use mosquito repellent, however there is a risk of catching malaria anywhere in Indonesia.
4. I have a medical condition. Will emergency help be available if I need it?
Indonesia does not have a well-developed medical-evacuation infrastructure and provincial hospitals. Some islands we visit have towns with very basic pharmacies, such as Labuan Bajo and Lombok, where you can find very limited range of medicine. However on some of our routes, the nearest medical help of any kind can be three days away.
Helicopters or air-ambulance evacuations are based in Bali and is very expensive, if and when it’s available at all.
If you are currently taking medication, please ensure you bring enough for your entire stay in Indonesia. If you have a medical condition, please make sure you seek advice with your doctor and organize adequate medical insurance, including coverage for air evacuation, before booking anything.
Blue Water Cruises cannot be held responsible for any injury or illness suffered from guests while on board.
5. Is there power supply on the boats to charge cameras, cellphones or laptops?
Yes you can charge your gadgets when the engine is running but please take precaution as we cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by sea or rain water.
6. What are the weather and the sea conditions like in Indonesia?
There are two basic seasons: the East season when the wind blows predominantly from the East (roughly June to October), and the West when it comes from the opposite direction.
Generally speaking the sea conditions are calm as islands surround and enclose the waters, making it rare to have big waves, however when the winds are blowing hard the sea can be choppy.
The Al isra ship is made of wood and ALL wooden boats tend to leak from time to time if it rains hard. Occasionally the roof of our cabins and decks may drip a little, but as all experienced sailors would say, 'if you don’t want to get wet, don’t go on the sea'.
7. Will I get seasick?
This ultimately depends on each individual, as not every body gets seasick, but it’s normal to feel a little uncomfortable the first day or so. We always have motion sickness (Antimo) tablets on board which will quickly help you feel better.
8. How are the boats powered?
Our boat has a marine diesel engine and these are used as a matter of course. It is not practical to use the sails since these boats are not designed for speed. Nowadays people want to get to their destinations quickly and as far as we know, there are no boats in these waters that still use their sails as their primary means of propulsion. In addition, in areas where there are many reefs, shoats and islands, it is just not safe to rely on sails. Usually, weather and sea conditions permitting, we will put the sails up for an hour or so to give you a taste of old-style sailing and give you the opportunity to take photographs.
9. What is included in the basic price?
- Three hearty meals a day + snacks
- Continuous water, tea and coffee.
- Harbor clearance fees
- A guide
- Snorkeling equipment
10. What is not included in the basic price?
- Soft drinks and beer
- Airfares or taxi transportation costs (we are happy to arrange this for you as long as it’s been paid for in advance)
- National park entry fees (Moyo, Satonda, Komodo, etc.)
- Diving packages
11. What is the cost of diving?
Because we offer diving as an additional facility rather than our cruises’ primary focus, we charge extra depending on which dive package you choose. For more information please look on the 'diving page', then let us know which one you want and what your plans are, so we’ll help you arrange the most suitable one.
12. What is your payment/refund policy?
To confirm your booking, we require a deposit of 50% of the total balance to block the space(s). The rest must be paid prior to due date shown on your invoice.
If you decide to cancel your cruise, we reserve the right to retain up to these amounts of your deposit to offset any expenses we have incurred: 20% of your deposit if it’s more than 42 days prior to departure, 50% if it’s between 42 days - 15 days, and 100% if it’s less than 15 days.
Please note that itineraries may change, or be curtailed without notice due to sea conditions, acts of God, natural disasters, strikes, changes in Indonesian government regulations, civil disorder, failures or negligence on the part of third parties, or other causes beyond our control. Blue Water Cruises is not bound to refund any monies in these circumstances but will always do its best to consider each case according to its merits. Refund claims will not be entertained in the case of the passenger changing his or her mind about their cruise and its destination or published activities once the cruise has commenced.
If there is a problem that cannot be resolved, any legal action against Blue Water Cruises must be initiated in the Bali High Court, according to Indonesian legal code.