Indonesian ferries have a record of poor safety, with more than four hundred perishing in the Java Sea in 2006 after a ferry capsized. The inter-island ferries that ply the Melacca Straits between Sumatra and Malaysia are often overcrowded and sent out from Dumai to Pulau Batam in poor weather. Most recently the Dumai 10 Expres sank after being battered by huge waves on 22 November 2009, which resulted in 29 deaths. The same day the Dumai Expres 15 ran aground on a neighbouring island. Further tarnishing Indonesian ferries’ safety record, in January 2011 a fire broke out on another ferry just outside the port of Merak, killing 11 people. While Indonesian ferries always carry some risk, safety may be maximized by sticking to Pelni boats and checking the weather forecast before heading out to sea.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Indonesia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Off the tourist trail in Southeast Asia: 5 underrated cities

Off the tourist trail in Southeast Asia: 5 underrated cities

Modern Bangkok, historical Hanoi and tourism-boom town Siem Reap — home to the world-famous Angkor Wat temples — are some of Southeast Asia's best drawcards…

21 Nov 2017 • Marco Ferrarese insert_drive_file Article
A postcard from Indonesia: life and death in Tanah Toraja

A postcard from Indonesia: life and death in Tanah Toraja

In Tanah Toraja, Indonesia, long-held animist beliefs mean the dead are laid to rest with elaborate ceremonies that last for days. Daniel Stables attends a f…

02 Nov 2017 • Daniel Stables insert_drive_file Article
Indonesia beyond Bali: 7 places off the tourist trail

Indonesia beyond Bali: 7 places off the tourist trail

Bali’s beautiful beaches and shimmering rice paddies have made it a justifiably famous tourist destination – but there’s so much more of Indonesia waiting…

16 May 2017 • Daniel Stables insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right