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Cruising Indonesia FAQs

1. Cruising Indonesia FAQs: General questions

How to I get to Cruise departures point?

Most of our guests Cruising Indonesia start their trip from International Airports in Denpasar Bali or Jakarta. From there, you can take a domestic flight to Labuan Bajo for Komodo, Sorong (via Jakarta or Makassar) for Raja Ampat or Makassar for Sulawesi. For Bali Cruise departures, you can reach Serangan harbour via local transportation. For getting to the Gili Islands in Lombok, take a fastboat transfer from Bali, Serangan or Padang Bai including pick up from your hotel.

How about Visas?

All Passports must be valid for at least 6 months from the day of departure from Indonesia. In some cases, you may also need a proof of onward passage to be allowed entry. Many countries will receive a free 30-day non-extendable visa upon arrival to Indonesia (Jakarta/Bali). If, however, your country is not included on this list, then arrival to Indonesia costs $35 for a one time renewable tourist visa; best to check this before booking a flight.

How about Insurance when Cruising Indonesia?

Travel Insurance is highly recommended when going on boat trip for Cruising Indonesia. For Divers, please make sure to be covered for a hyperbaric treatment in a chamber and other diving incidents.

2. Cruising Indonesia FAQs: Before booking a trip

What are phinisi boats?

Phinisi boats are the traditional schooners which give the trips with Barefoot Yachts Indonesia their authentic touch. They have been built in South Sulawesi, where also most of the crews have their homes. The ancestors of the modern Phinisi boats are the vessels that transported spices from the Indonesian Spice Islands – at that time known as “East Indies”. Blessed with a long boat building tradition and gone through various rituals during the building process in South Sulawesi, phinisi schooners are traditionally made from tropic teak wood, but presently in Indonesia, Ironwood and Bangkirai are preferred. So, the golden age of sailing, which ended in the West in the early twentieth century, never quite ended here and the traditional schooner – now modernised – are still Cruising Indonesian waters and you have a bright opportunity to try these traditional vessels yourselves by cruising with us.

Why book a holiday Cruising Indonesia?

The Indonesian Archipelago compromises of more than 17,500 islands and the best way to travel through this Water Wonderland is by cruising with a boat. You will have the chance to visit places you cannot reach via roads, be close to nature and wildlife on land and sea and truly capture the spirit of Indonesia while voyaging through the Archipelago on a traditional schooner. Cruising on a yacht charter is like traveling in time: a return to classical sailing, giving one an authentic feeling of real adventure. Barefoot Yachts Indonesia offers a variety of boats, routes and trip styles to suit various preferences and budget.

What is a private charter?

Chartering a private boat in Indonesia means you rent the vessel, including crew, for your personalized leisure experience. You may charter a traditional phinisi schooner with your friends and family for cruising the land and sea sites of the Indonesian Archipelago or for a dive liveaboard. We also provide charters for a wedding events, bachelor/hens parties, private sunset cruises or company events. Please see our Private Yacht Indonesia section for more details.

Why charter a yacht?

Chartering a private vessel gives you the greatest privacy, freedom and flexibility for your boat cruise in Indonesia. It’s just going to be you, your friends or family on the boat hence the route itinerary, as well as the daily scheduled activities, can be tailored to your needs and preferences.

How to book a cruise?

Simply contact Barefoot Yachts Indonesia here and let us know which route, boat and trip style you prefer and select suitable dates. We are experts in exquisite cruises throughout the Indonesian Archipelago and can offer a handpicked range of boats and routes, suitable for various budget and cruise styles.

What is included on a cruise?

Each boat is different, but in general, the following are included: Accommodation, Food and Snacks, Coffee, tea and drinking water, Airport/Hotel transfers, Petrol, Crew and Harbour Clearance, Guide above and underwater, Snorkeling equipment and towels.

What is excluded?

Commonly but not limited to these, alcohol and liquors, National Park fees, scuba diving, diving gear rental, travel insurance and crew tips & gratuities are excluded.

How will the weather and sea conditions be?

We have chosen this country not only for the broad range of adventures, beautiful boats and ocean sites it offers but also the great weather conditions that are typical for the Indonesian archipelago. All our boat schedules are adjusted according to seasons so, generally speaking the sea conditions are calm. Since the sea in most liveaboard cruise areas is surrounded by islands, there are hardly any big waves; at times if the wind is blowing hard, the sea can be a little choppy. Please be aware that most of our boats are made of wood and ALL wooden boats can leak if it rains hard and this sometimes causes the cabin roof and the deck to drip a little.

What about seasickness?

Although our schooners sail mostly calm waters without large waves, some people still feel a little uncomfortable on the boat. Taking motion sickness tablets which all our boats have on board and are easily available in Indonesia will quickly help you to feel better.

Do we sail or use an engine?

All our phinisi schooners use marine diesel engines as a matter of course. Although all of them can also sail, it is simply not practical to use the sails since traditional schooners are not designed for speed and ironically have poor sailing performance. In the days before engines, it was commonly accepted that a relatively short voyage might take several weeks. Today, 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 propulsion for longer distances. In addition, Indonesia boast a lot of shallow reefs in many areas so it is simply not safe to rely completely on sails. If weather and sea conditions permit, the crew will put the sails up for a while to give you a taste of original old style sailing and offer you the opportunity to take photos.

How about Safety and Medical Issues?

All boats are carefully selected according to safety and quality standards and we take any medical emergencies seriously. On every boat, there is a first aid trained crew, marine safety equipment, medical kits and, on scuba diving cruise, emergency oxygen is available. We suggest a reasonable level of fitness will maximize your adventures with us. All guests requiring regular medication are advised to bring an ample supply of medication or dietary supplements with them as our destinations are remote and lack western medical facilities or supplies.

Basic Medical tips when Cruising Indonesia

The burning power of the tropical sun must not be underestimated. Always wear a hat/cap and use some form of (water-resistant and when possible, reef safe) sun cream or lotion on untanned skin. Always wear a T-shirt or rash guard when snorkeling. Glare from the sun can cause eye problems so wear sunglasses, especially on beaches. Avoid getting dehydrated by drinking a lot of non-alcoholic fluids; drinking water is always available on board.

How about children on a Cruise?

We welcome families with children of all ages on our boats! Babies, toddlers as well as teenagers are welcome on our cruises. Most crews are quite used to handling children and will be of great help to you. We advise you keep a close eye on toddlers at all times especially in the deck area; watch when using the stairs to the cabins as well as they can be steep. It is important for parents to remember to guard young children at all times. For more information or if you would like to chat about your specific needs, please contact us. If bringing very young children, cruise destination and boat will be chosen accordingly.

What is your payment/refund policy?

To confirm your booking, we require a 50% deposit; balance payment is due one-two months prior departure. Since it is quite a complex process to organize boat charters, we will retain up to 30% of your down payment upon cancellation more than 150 days prior departure, up to 50% for cancellation less than or equal to 150 days prior departure and up to 100% for cancellation less than 90 days prior departure to offset any expenses that may have incurred. We recommend you to purchase a travel insurance covering cancellation fees in case of circumstances beyond your control such as illness, cancelled flights or others.

3. Cruising Indonesia FAQs- Before Departure

What should I bring with me Cruising Indonesia ?

Indonesia is a tropical country so we recommend bringing light clothing, a couple sets of swimwear, sun cream, a hat/cap as well as foot wear for land visits (trekking/hiking are included in some itineraries). As evenings can sometimes be a little cooler, you might also want to bring a sweatshirt/jumper or sarong. It’s great if you bring your favorite card game and books along as well. Wine and Spirits are mostly not sold or provided so best to bring your own from the duty-free shops. Bringing your own mask and fins for snorkeling and diving cruises is recommended. Less, really, is more – do not overpack!

Do I need cash on board?

The National Park fees are always to be paid in Indonesian Rupiah cash on board. Some extra cash for souvenirs on the way, crew tips and onboard purchases will be very handy as well.

I have special dietary requirements – what should I do?

Let us know about your dietary restrictions/requirements early prior to departure. Our boats are able to cater for a broad variety of dietary requirements. To be on the safe side, please reconfirm your dietary restrictions with the cruise director immediately once on board the vessel before you start the cruise.

Why do you need passport numbers?

Every boat along with all the passengers on board Cruising Indonesia needs a legal  permit therefore passenger names, nationalities and passport numbers must be obtained. Please provide your passport details early before the trip in order to avoid a delayed departure.

Can I recharge my torch, laptop, phone and camera?

Yes, there is voltage 220V available on all boats. On some boats electricity may be limited during late night hours.

Is there phone reception/wifi on board?

Some luxury vessels have free satellite wifi onboard; most not so it’s best if you buy a cheap Indonesian Sim card with Internet package for your smartphone upon arrival to Indonesia; we can recommend a network that would work best for your desired cruise destination. Note, however, that phone reception and therefore, internet connection, varies depending on the location of the vessel – not all destination will have connection.

What about tipping?

Tips are not mandatory but if you perceive the service as good, it is common to tip 3-10% of cruise value, around $10 per person/day to our hardworking crews. Commonly, tips are shared equally among Indonesian crew and western staff, when available, may be tipped separately. When receiving any service from locals during island visits, you may give some money to appreciate their service, but keep it in relation to their income. Over tipping will create baggers, jealousy and inequality. IDR 10,000 – IDR 50,000 are adequate, depending on the kind of service.

What about religion and cultural differences?

Indonesia is a cultural melting pot with a large variety of cultures, languages and religions. It is also the country with the largest Islamic population in the world. It is appropriate to dress and behave moderately and respectfully when visiting remote seaside villages. Women should cover shoulders and upper legs, men should where shirts within the village. Touching people’s (including children) heads, pointing your feet in their direction and giving things with your left hand is considered rude in Indonesian culture.

Do you catch and serve fish during the cruises?

Controversial topic, but yes, we do in areas where fishing is permitted. We consider catching and eating fish as a part of the life on a boat. However, the Indonesian Seas, source of life and income, are depleting and we are highly committed to conserving this highly valuable resource for future generations. We encourage all boat crew and guests to treat fish as a valuable resource, do not fish in protected areas, do not catch or eat fish that are endangered and not to catch more than you can eat.

4. Cruising Indonesia FAQs: Scuba Diving

Can I do a Diving Course during a cruise?

Yes, you can do diving courses on select cruises with Barefoot Yachts Indonesia. Just ask us for the right one for you!

Can I do a check dive/scuba review?

The first dive during a diving liveaboard cruise will always be an easy check dive to refresh your scuba diving skills and get familiar with the equipment that you will use during the cruise.

What equipment is provided?

Snorkeling equipment consisting of life vest, mask, snorkel and fins are normally available free of charge. Diving equipment such as BCD, Regulator, Wetsuits, Computer, etc are available for rent on board, please ask for specific fees; other needs such as weights, belts, tanks and Divemaster are normally included for Diving Cruises.

Do I get a dive guide?

Yes, all dives are headed by a professional dive guide.

What wetsuit do I need to bring?

Depending on the season, water temperature is usually around 29 degrees. We recommend a 3mm shorty or rash guard  for snorkeling as a protection from sun and water irritations. When going on a dive liveaboard with 3 or more dives a day, we recommend a long suit. In some areas, thermoclines may drop as low as 24 degrees. Wetsuits are available for rent on board.

The nearest hyperbaric chamber?

Bali: Sanglah General Hospital USUP Sanglah Denpasar JI. Diponegoro, Denpasar 80114 Bali, Indonesia: Phone 62-361-227911 through -15 ext. 232 (hyperbaric medical department)

Do you offer Nitrox?

Most diving boats in our fleet offer compressed air , please ask for specific boats.

Do we dive from the boat or from tenders?

Vessels commonly use a tender to drop you on the dive sites. This is safest way to protect other divers in the water, the reef and the vessel.

Where is best for diving with Manta Rays in Indonesia?

You can find Manta Rays throughout the Indonesian Archipelago. Nevertheless, Manta Alley and Makassar Reef in the Komodo offer a very high chance to encounter these beautiful creatures. In Raja Ampat, Manta Ridge and Manta Sandy are top sites for spotting them in large quantities.  April – June is Manta Season with a good chance to encounter them in dozens preforming majestic mating dances.

Can I see whales and Dolphins on a cruise in Indonesia?

Yes, we see Dolphins frequently during our liveaboards – they love surfing the bow wave. For whales, you need to be a little luckier to encounter them on their migration routes. However – eighteen whale species have been recorded from around Komodo alone, you’ll never know what might pass so always be on the look out.

5. Cruising Indonesia FAQs: Private Yacht Charter Indonesia

What does it mean to charter a private boat in Indonesia?

A Private Yacht Charter in Indonesia means ultimate freedom and privacy during your cruise experience. You can choose your cruise destination, route as well as the activities according to your personal preferences and style.

What activities are possible?

Activities on a boat trip Indonesia may include Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Surfing, Wakeboarding, Yoga, Freediving, Sea Kayaking, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Fishing, Movie Nights and Beach Bonfire BBQs.

You can explore Indonesian cultures and natural land sights throughout the Archipelago or simply relax, go swimming and discover pristine beaches. You have the freedom to choose the priorities of the route according to your preferences and available timeframe considering the weather conditions during your cruise.

Private boat rentals around Bali and all over the thousands of Indonesian islands are also very suitable for various special occasions and events such as wedding cruises, birthday parties, bachelor party trips, hens nights cruises, product launches or photo shoots.

Is it expensive to charter a boat for Cruising Indonesia?

Chartering a boat with family or group of friends often means that the cost per person is cheaper than going on for Shared Schedule Cruises; this is true whether or not you are opting for Adventure and Comfort or even Luxury Yachts.

6. Cruising Indonesia FAQs: Useful Information

Can you explain Cruising Seasons in Indonesia?

Indonesia is a year round cruising destination and you can see from this site that we do offer a variety of cruises – our signature ones would be that of Komodo and Raja Ampat. To explain the seasons, most of the yachts are based in Raja Ampat between November and April before they move to Komodo National Park approximately between May and October. April/May and October also offers up opportunities to go exploring other destinations such as Wakatobi, Banda Sea from Sorong to Ambon and vv, Forgotten Island from Saumlaki to Maumere and vv among others. 

What is the price for Cruising Indonesia?

Boat Cruises price differ from one boat and cruise to another and is also affected by seasons – low vs normal vs peak; however, generally, you can charter a yacht starting from as low as 650 Euro/Night all the way up to 10000 Euro/Night for the luxurious ones. On the other hand, sharing a scheduled cruise with other guests can go from 200-400 Euro/Adult/Night.

What is your booking process?

We start by first understanding your needs and requirements for the cruise – this includes your travel dates, number of guests, age of the kids joining the cruise, activities preferred such as snorkeling or diving, cruise duration and budget among others. With these givens, we will provide you a list of options that we think as experts would be a good fit for your family or group showing you the price along with its inclusions and exclusions. Once you pick a boat that you like for your cruise, we will prepare and send you an invoice and require a 50% deposit to reserve your booking.