Taking Bahari Express Fast Boat to Raja Ampat

Fast Boat Ferry to Raja Ampat
One of the ways to go to Raja Ampat is by taking the Bahari Express Fast Boat from Sorong to Waisai in Raja Ampat. Most travelers would like to know what is the best way to get here, and from my trip in September 2017, I managed to experience using Bahari Express. 

In another article, I have shared information on traveling to Raja Ampat, from Bali, Jakarta or Makassar in Indonesia. That article provides information on flights to Sorong in West Papua, before connecting to Waisai. Also, please read about the Raja Ampat Marine Park Permit at the end as it is very important.

Tiket Express Bahari
Bahari Express VIP Ticket to Raja Ampat from Sorong
How to take the Bahari Express Fast Boat to Raja Ampat

Most travelers would make their way to the city of Sorong in West Papua. From here, you can either take a short flight to Waisai or take the Bahari Express fast boat which takes only two and a half hours. 

Below are the steps you need to do;
  • Arrive in Sorong Airport
  • Take a taxi to the Sorong Jetty or Sorong Harbor (IDR 100,00)
  • Book Bahari Express fast boat to Waisai 
  • Choose Standard Seat (IDR 130,000) or VIP Seat (IDR 220,000) per person
  • VIP seating is air-conditioned with Karaoke
  • Ferry departs 2.00 PM daily
  • Extra trip at 9.00 AM on Monday, Wednesday and Friday 
  • Journey takes 2.5 hours to Waisai
  • Arrive Waisai and wait for your resort boat to pick you up at the harbor/port
Ferry Boat to Raja Ampat Papua
The Sorong Harbor where you catch the Bahari Express fast boat to Raja Ampat
As simple as it sounds, you should book your tickets from the Bahari Express counter and possibly get your return ticket together. I would recommend you take the VIP ticket as it is more comfortable. 

On board the ferry, there is a small cafeteria selling hot and cold drinks with limited selections. If you are hungry, they also sell popular Indonesian cup noodles with hot water provided. Biscuits and snacks are sold there too. 

There is an outdoor area behind Bahari Express boat, for those who want to stretch their legs or go for a cigarette. The economy class is usually filled with locals traveling from the islands.

VIP Seats on Bahari Express Fast Boat
The VIP seating on Bahari Express from Sorong to Raja Ampat
VIP Ticket on Bahari Express

Since I took the VIP ticket on the fast boat, the seats were spacious and comfortable. The air condition is also quite cold, while there is a large flat screen television in the front along with a Karaoke machine. 

Not that anyone sang any songs along the two and a half hour journey, but they pre-program it to play some popular English and Indonesian songs throughout your journey. Lyrics appear on the screen so you can sing along if you like. 

I think, most people sitting here took the opportunity to sleep throughout the journey as it was quite a smooth ride. This is mainly because the boat is huge, and you don't really feel the rocking motion. Perhaps if the weather is brutal, you could feel it.

Bahari Express Ticket Counter Waisai Raja Ampat
The Bahari Express ticket counter at Waisai, Raja Ampat
Bahari Express Fast Boat Tickets

At Sorong Harbor, look for a building that sells tickets or 'Loket'. Ask the locals where the counter is, tell them you want to take Bahari Express to Waisai. They will point you in the right direction. After getting your tickers, head to the jetty and look for the fast boat with the name Bahari Express on it. It's quite huge. The one I took was red and white in color. 

From Waisai back to Sorong, there is a Bahari Express ticket counter in the post area, so it is hard to miss. However, to be super sure, ask the locals there, and they will point you to the counter.

Raja Ampat Boat Ferry Service
Boarding the fast boat to Sorong from Waisai Harbor
When you get into and off the fast boat, please be cautious as they only have a wooden plank for you to step on. Boat assistants will help you get on and off the boat. So, if you have multiple bags, be extra careful. 

At the arrival destinations, you will encounter local porters (without uniforms) coming into to boat asking you if you need help with your bags. Usually if you ignore them, they will not bother you. But if you really do need their service, you can engage them and pay them a couple of thousand Rupiah.

Boat Laju ke Raja Ampat
Express Bahari fast boat from Waisai to Sorong
Other Ferry Boat Service to Raja Ampat

There are other ferry services from Sorong to Waisai, but they are larger and take longer, probably three to four hours. They are Getsemani Ferry and Fajar Mulia Ferry service. It is noted that their schedules are not fixed, so it is best to take Bahari Express. 

This is important as when you are buying your Bahari Express Fast Boat Ticket, make sure you double check the ticket. Due to language or confusion, you may end up with another company ferry which is also going to Waisai.

Pelabuhan Waisai Raja Ampat
Scene at the Waisai Harbor in Raja Ampat, this is where you depart to your resorts
What happens if I miss the Bahari Express ferry? 

Usually you need to get into Sorong before 12 noon. This gives you ample time to arrive at the harbor and get your tickets. So, if you flight is delayed, and you arrive at 1.00 PM, you simply need to spend a night in Sorong and catch the ferry the following day. 

Well, situations have happened before where flights are delayed, so bet to be prepared for this, in the event it does happen to you. There are numerous budget hotels or decent hotels found around Sorong, so choose one ear the harbor if you must.

Pelabuhan Sorong Papua Barat
Scene at the Sorong Harbor in West Papua
Sometimes, the morning fast boat schedule may be cancelled, as it has happened before. Not frequent, but you should be prepared due to weather or mechanical failure. Therefore, you will be pushed to the afternoon 2.00 PM boat.

Getting the Raja Ampat Marine Park Permit

This is important as you are required to get the Raja Ampat Marine Park Entry Pass before you arrive in Waisai. Without this, you could pay a fine or be refused entry at Waisai, so please read up the article I wrote on that in the link above. 

With this, I hope that this information is valuable in helping you plan your Raja Ampat trip. Again, I was invited by Indonesia Tourism on the 2017 Trip of Wonders Adventure and Dive Campaign, and Raja Ampat was one of the destinations that I explored.

Bahari Express Seating
Inside the economy seating area of Bahari Express
Food on Bahari Express
The Cafe or Cafeteria on board Bahari Express
Bahari Express Ticket
Sorong to Waisai ferry ticket from Bahari Express
Known as one of the best places on the planet to visit, this has indeed been a huge tick for two of my bucket lists - Diving in Raja Ampat and also visiting Piaynemo, one of the most beautiful natural structures in the world. 

To summarize it, I highly recommend taking Bahari Express fast boat to Raja Ampat as this is probably the most economical and easiest way to get to Raja Ampat from Sorong. Just remember to plan for extra days in the event of delays and so on. Have questions, please do ask below in the comment form.. 

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