The not so Glory’ious Express boat ride to Nusa Lembongan

The Glory Express boat service offers pick up and drop off between Bali (Kuta and Sanur mainly) hotels and Nusa Lembongan hotels for 550,000 Rp return, or 300,000 Rp oneway.

I have booked my Kuta to Lembongan return trip through Perama’s online reservation service which has cost me A$37 (for 350,000 Rp – via PayPal). I receive a travel voucher which I needed to exchange at the Perama office for a Perama ticket which is then exchanged at the Glory Office in Sanur for a Glory ticket.

The pickup service from the Perama office was about 10 minutes late but it was a nice new vehicle with good AC and a driver who was not too reckless. The car stops in a large car park, quite close to the beach, with a short walk down a narrow lane (with a 50 cm cement slab to step over, and lift your bags over) to the Glory office. At The Sanur beach front, Glory Express boat office, you are given a sticker to place on your chest, with your hotel’s name in Nusa Lembongan and are directed to place your bags on a canvas area, and the bags are then carried, in a fairly casual manner, and placed on the boat.

Two large blue plastic crates are placed on the sand in front of the boat and someone whistles and gestures from the back of the boat, indicating it is time to board. Passengers are told to place their shoes in the blue crates before wading out to get on the boat, using a small step next to the 4  engines, with assistance from staff, if needed.

Inside the boat, there is a central aisle and 2 rows of seats with 3 bus type seats in each. The windows don’t really open that far and it’s not possible to see out of the windows as the seats are low and/or windows quite high.

Fortunately the stated 30 minute fast boat service does take 30 minutes. It is a slow pace as the boat pulls out from Sanur but it then gathers pace quite quickly, slowing again as we approach Nusa Lenbongan and taking an indirect route that appears to require entering through a reef system, off to the north of the island, to access the central beach area.

At the drop off point, the boat is reversed in, close enough to wade ashore, again with the help of staff. The blue crates of shoes in the meantime are unceremoniously dumped in the sand, resulting in very sandy shoes and people with wet feet to collect them.

There are some rough wooden steps leading to the Glory office (no handrails) where there is a bucket of water, to wash your feet, to put on your sand covered shoes, while standing on sand covered cement.

At this point, those with name tags are collected and herded to transport vehicles to be deposited at their hotels.

Tips;

  1. Wear short shorts – nothing that is below knee – they will get wet when boarding the boat.
  2. Pack everything very carefully inside your bag. These guys make airline baggage handlers look careful
  3. Wear thongs and carry them with you, rather than deposit them in the blue crates
  4. Sit at the rear of the boat if you want to be first off.
  5. There are about 4 or 6 seats up top but the stairs are located at the front of the boat and these seats are generally taken up by staff.
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