Darwin – Bali Ferry Service to Launch?

The Timor Ferry?

UPDATE

Please note ednaxe’s comment below which has convinced me at least that there’s no truth to this.

Darwin may have a sea-link with Bali if the oddly-named “Timor Ferry” makes it from website to actuality. The single-page site claims two state of art catamarans – capable of carrying 750 passengers to ply the 950-odd nautical mile journey across the Indian Ocean – have already been acquired. The service will travel daily between ‘Cullen Bay Marina in Darwin and Bali Benoa Marina in South Bali’ with plans to launch the service ‘towards the end of 2008’. No word on whether it would accommodate vehicles.

This single website is only mention I can find of any planned service.

This seems a strange turn of events, even given that tourist numbers have been recovering recently (including tourists from Australia – despite the Australian government continuing travel warnings against travel to Indonesia, notwithstanding Indonesian protests).

I would be surprised if there was sufficient demand to justify a passenger ferry link or if such a link were competitive with direct flights from other Australian capitals (even if fares have become reasonably steep with only Jetstar ploughing the route as a budget carrier).

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9 responses to “Darwin – Bali Ferry Service to Launch?

  1. The site claims that the ships were built in Hobart, Tasmania, indicating that they were built by Incat. First of all, Incat has a list http://www.incat.com.au/domino/incat/incatweb.nsf/v-title/Ships%20in%20Service?OpenDocument of all the ships they have built, indicating that they have only sold three ships to Condor, only two of which are as large as the Timor Ferry site describes, and all of which are still in service. Secondly, even if Timor Ferry did buy these ships from Condor, their maximum service speed is 40 knots, meaning the Bali-Darwin trip would take at least 24 hours. The site makes reference to “reclining seats”, but realistically such a service would need to retrofit the ferries with sleeping berths, greatly decreasing capacity. Thirdly, the fuel costs on such a long route would almost certainly make high-speed service unprofitable (Stena Line found even the 100nm Harwich-Hook of Holland route was too long for high-speed ferries to meet fuel costs).

    Unfortunately, Timor Ferry sounds more like an attempt to scam some “investors” than a realistic proposal.

  2. e-mail received from the marina:

    This is the first time I have heard of this, and I am the GM. Firstly the ferry in question would all but outsize itself on the facility here, we do not have an area that customs could possibly clear 750 passengers on arrival, the list goes on.

    I would suggest that this is hoax, especially if they think that they are using our facility.

    quote from:
    http://boards.gapyear.com/index.php?op=vt&c=4&f=121&t=306147&o=0

  3. i am planning a circumnavigation, using land and sea based travel alone. The timor ferry from bali to darwin was a vital link to complete my journey from london to london. i have looked at possible boats from east timor to australia but this seems very dangerous and quite comlicated. if anybody knows of any other possible connections fom either indonesia or papua new guinea i would be very pleased to hear from you. i depart london in 14 days and am planning to complete the trip in 115 days. many thanks robin

    • Hi Robin,
      How are you? I hope your trip went well. My girlfriend and I are doing something sımılar to you and were wondering ıf you found a ferry from Balı to Oz?

      Kınd regards,
      Petrit and Gloria

      pgworld.altervista.org

    • Hi Robin, I’m also trying to follow in your footsteps like Petrit and Gloria. The SE Asia – OZ link is the biggest hurdle to jump, isn’t it? Do you ave any advice?

  4. Im sorry but Im still working onboard the Condor line with the ships named Condor, and no one single person inthe company seems to know the ships were sold. We sail between Uk and France, and the Channel Islands. What a bad and silly joke from silly people !
    I repeat, the ships ARE operating and never been sold.

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