Cargo boats to Batanta and Fam

Cargo boats to Batanta and Fam

Taking the cargo boats to Batanta and Fam Islands can save you quite a bit of money. It’s a great option if you have plenty of time and want to keep your budget as low as possible.

First, though, let us warn you: Do not rely on these boats if your schedule is not flexible! These are island supply boats, not passenger ferries. You will need to be ok with taking a long time to get there. You will also need to be OK with either not sleeping, or with sleeping on decks. You should probably take something to shelter yourself and your luggage from rain.

If you do take the cargo boats to Batanta and Fam, you will need to contact your hosts to arrange a pickup at your destination. For some homestays you will need to be able to make yourself understood in Bahasa Indonesia. If you’re going to Batanta, be aware that you will arrive in the middle of the night. You might need to wait in Arefi until morning for your homestay pickup.

Still keen? Details are below, and were correct in August 2022. We update this information as soon as we are aware of permanent changes.

If you need up to the minute information, please try calling John Urbon in Sorong. Alternatively, check the comments below, and consider asking in our Travellers’ Forum group.

Batanta and Fam boat schedule

Boat name: Terebuk

Departs Sorong: Weekly on Fridays. Departs from Pertamina harbour at Sorong sometime between 1800 and 2100. Best to be there before 6pm, because the boat leaves as soon as it’s loaded.

Arrives in Arefi, Batanta: Depends on departure time, but usually around 2400 (midnight). Departs as soon as cargo transfer is complete.

Arrives in Fam Village, Fambemuk: Depends on departure time, varies from 0900 to 1200 (midday) on Saturday.

Departs Fam Village on Saturdays as soon as cargo transfer is complete, and returns to Sorong via Arefi, usually arriving back in Sorong sometime after 1730 on Saturday evening.

Cost
Sorong to Arefi – IDR 70,000
Arefi to Pam – IDR 50,000
Sorong to Pam – IDR 120,000

Fam Islands boat schedule

Boat Name: Sabuk Nusantara

Departs Sorong: Weekly on Wednesdays. Departs from the public harbour, usually around 1800. Best to get there early, because the boat leaves as soon as it’s loaded.

Arrives in Fam Village, Fambemuk: Usually around 0900 on Thursdays

Returns to Sorong as soon as cargo transfer is complete.

Cost: IDR 50,000

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  1. Julia on

    Hello, is the Terebuk boat from Sorong to Arefi still going on friday or is it going on saturday?

  2. kelly on

    any further word on Sabuk boat? Running again or….

  3. Mike on

    We took Terebuk from Pelabuhan Usahamina, Sorong to Arefi, Batanta on Friday, 28 October, 2022. It’s actually a small car ferry with 2 decks upstairs for basic passenger seating, a kiosk selling snacks and ice cream(!) and several bunk beds, first come, first serve. Squat toilets and a separate wash room were pretty clean and orderly. Ekonomi ticket is still 70,000 per person to Arefi and there’s even a ticket office at the harbor. The boat was scheduled to depart at 20:00 and actually left only 30 minutes late! We had a comfortable bunk bed passage and arrived at Afefi about 01:00.

    Here’s the adventurous part: There’s apparently no port or pier on Arefi that can accommodate a vessel this size! (A large cement jetty is under construction at nearby Yensawai village but maybe a year away from completion). That means, in the darkest hours of the night, passengers and cargo are off-loaded down a short metal ladder onto waiting longboats while Terabuk attempts to idle in place. We had good weather for our exit, but if it’s rough or raining, I imagine it could be quite dangerous. Anyway, if Ibus and babies can do it, why not a few mildly adventurous tourists?

    You definitely need to arrange this middle of the night floating transfer with your homestay. Mandemor in Yensawai village is a good choice because it’s the closest to Arefi and a 100,000 idr, 10 minute boat ride to the pleasant homestay.

    1. Tremendously useful info Mike. Thanks so much for taking the time to post it 🙏

      1. Largeu on

        Thank you for this information because I couldn’t find it on the net. Did you confirm that the boat always leaves on Fridays?

        1. Yes, the Terebuk’s usual schedule remains Fridays.

  4. Largeu on

    Hello, is the information on the port of embarkation still relevant (pertamina harbour)? because I have the information that the Friday evening boat for sorong to Arefi leaves from the port of pelabuhan rakyat sorong. Thank you for your answer

    1. Hi Largeu

      There may well have been changes that we haven’t heard of yet. If you confirm that the Terebuk’s departure point has indeed been permanently changed, it would be great if you could let us know. Thank you and good luck! 🙏

      1. Daniel on

        Just coming from the harbor, the boat schedule changed and goes on Saturday loading at 6pm, not sure if the change is forever or just this week .Location of the harbor is here
        https://maps.app.goo.gl/nATVWEmUtef9BCpV7

        1. Cheers Daniel

          Is your info for the Terebuk, or the Sabuk Nusantara?

          1. Daniel on

            Hello, from what I heard, the Thu boat Sabuk is not operating at all, wanted to use it from Pam, not running. Terebuk to Batanta is Sat 6pm, again, not sure if just this week or permanently and its leaving from the harbor I marked. Hopefully, will see today 🙂

            1. Thanks again Daniel. It’s hard to keep up! Perhaps we should just say “There is a boat. Go ask at the harbour to find out more.” :P Good luck!

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