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.

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
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook