Adventure Cruises in Bali
On Bali cruises, visitors will not only experience highlights of this most popular of the Indonesian islands, but they will also be treated to the less-travelled outlying islands of Nusa Penida. The smallest of the country’s provinces, Bali packs a cultural and natural punch, its shores lined with white and black sand beaches and its interior rippling with volcanic mountains and blanketed with lush forestry. Bali is also a Hindu enclave known for its traditional dance and stunning religious sites, including the cliff side Uluwatu Temple. Given the island’s unique beauty and culture, any sailing trip from Bali begins on a high note.
Top things to do and see from a Bali Cruise
Bali serves primarily as a departure point for Indonesia luxury cruises headed to Lombok, Flores, the Kangean Islands and Sumbawa. Despite this, some small ship cruises of the area will include one or more of the Bali highlights listed below, allowing visitors to enjoy the so-called Island of the Gods!
Amuk Bay, conveniently located near Padang Bai, the departure point for many Bali sailing cruises, features crystal blue waters and white sand beaches largely undiscovered by travellers reluctant to make the two hour trip from the busier, more popular resorts of southern Bali. Here, visitors can relax on the beach or snorkel the unusually clear waters before setting out on their cruise of the Lesser Sunda Islands.
Nusa Penida is an archipelago of three small islands off the eastern coast of Bali, including Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida itself, the largest of the trio. Visible from Sanur, Nusa Penida is the secret Bali, offering the island experience many travellers dream of but fail to find on the more crowded resorts of Kuta and Legian. Its coast is dotted with quiet, secluded beaches, while karst formations and caves allow for exploration between naps by the surf. The island also serves as an unofficial bird sanctuary and one of the only places to spot the endangered Bali sparrow.
Nusa Lembongan is the most popular of the Nusa Penida islands, and it’s not difficult to see why. Visitors on a Bali island cruise will be presented with the white sand crescent of Mushroom Bay, so-called for its offshore mushroom coral, making it a popular spot for swimming and snorkelling. Venture further south and visitors will come to the aptly named Dream Beach, known as one of the prettiest in Bali.
Pulau Menjangan is where you go to feel like Robinson Crusoe, if only for a day! Part of Bali Barat National Park, access to the island is controlled and now overnight stays are permitted. Though its name means “Deer Island”, its most prized wildlife is found under the waves: Pulau Menjangan is known for its world-class snorkelling, its waters home to angelfish, clownfish and giant clams, among many others. It is no wonder why the island is a favourite part of any Bali cruise package.
Sanur, the oldest resort town on the island of Bali, serves as the meeting point for many Indonesia cruises, but it is worth arriving early enough to enjoy its long beaches, shady palms and artsy vibe.
Top Tips for visiting Bali
- No Bali cruise should be undertaken without a good camera and a few extra memory cards; this is a wildly photogenic region!
- Bali’s beaches and coves are key spots for snorkelling, so pack your bathing suit and gear. This is especially true of Pulau Menjangan.
- Expect prices on Nusa Penida to be slightly higher than on Bali, given that it must boat in much of its food for lack of freshwater.
- If you have the time, don’t miss out on Sanur! It’s a great spot to shop and relax before your Bali cruise adventure begins.
- Note that, as a protected natural reserve, Pulau Menjangan has no shops or restaurants, so pack accordingly.
Best time to cruise Bali
As a year-round destination, there truly is no best time to visit Bali. Visitors should plan, however, as the weather and season can have an impact on their favoured activities.
November to March in Bali is the rainy season, but even then the rains typically only last a few hours in the afternoon. The rainiest period lasts from December to February.
From June to August the weather tends to be cooler and the humidity drops, making it more comfortable for visitors unaccustomed to the tropical climate.
Note that Nyepi, the Balinese New Year, is known as a day of silence. The day before Nyepi is celebrated with a colourful and raucous parade, but on the day itself the entire island shuts down.
Where do Bali cruises depart from?
The majority of Bali island cruises depart from either Sanur, Padang Bai (also called Padangbai and Padang Bay) or Amed, on the east coast of Bali; or if the itinerary visits the Komodo National Park your trip may start from Labuan Bajo, on the island of Flores and finish in Bali.
Cruises leaving from Padang Bai or Amed are serviced by shuttles from the resort town of Sanur, commonly used as a meeting point by Indonesia cruise operators. The ride from Sanur to Padang Bai is approximately 1-1½ hours, whilst Amed is around 2½ hours and quite picturesque.
Sanur is a twenty-minute Blue Bird taxi ride from Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport, on the island of Bali.
If your Indonesia cruise departs from Labuan Bajo, on Flores, you will still fly into Ngurah Rai International Airport, on Bali and, from there take a connecting flight to Flores.
Ngurah Rai International Airport is a hub for Southeast Asia and the rest of Indonesia and well served by most major airlines.
Our reservations team can help you book your next adventure cruise to Bali, Indonesia. Contact us today.