Day 1-2: The PELNI KM Kelud from Batam to Jakarta

PELNI, which is an abbreviation of PT. Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia, is the national shipping company of Indonesia, operating ferries which connect the main islands of the Indonesian archipelago.

The PELNI office in Batam is a 10-minute leisurely walk from Sekupang Ferry Terminal which is a gateway to and from Singapore. It is located at Jl. Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo No. 4, Sekupang, Batam. PELNI ferries from Batam go to two destinations, namely Tanjung Priok (in Jakarta) and Belawan (for Medan).

The fare table for the two destinations the KM Kelud serves from Batam: Tanjung Priok (in Jakarta) and Belawan (for Medan).

You will be given this form to fill up your details in order for you to buy your tickets. Tickets generally go on sale on the month of departure ie. departures in May are sold in May.

You may also download and print an English-translated version of this form here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1BW2uNJ2IJSaTZuR0pMT3R2WXM/view?usp=sharing

Present your passport if you don’t speak Indonesian or you have a messy handwriting so the staff can help you fill in your details in the system.

Here’s a breakdown of the different classes of travel for the various vessels:

KM Kelud, KM Tidar & KM Tatamailau

PT PELNI Travelling Classes KM Kelud, KM Tidar & KM Tatamailau.png
Click on the image to enlarge.

All ships except KM Kelud, KM Tidar & KM Tatamailau

PT PELNI Travelling Classes All ships except KM Kelud, KM Tidar & KM Tatamailau.png
Click on the image to enlarge.

The KM Kelud departs from Batu Ampar in Batam for Tanjung Priok, Jakarta at 1.00pm on Wednesdays and returns to Batam and Belawan on Fridays at 8.00am.

The full routing of the KM Kelud is Belawan – Tanjung Balai Karimun – Batu Ampar – Tanjung Priok – Batu Ampar – Tanjung Balai Karimun – Belawan, though during peak seasons such as the month of Ramadan, more trips will be added on the Belawan – Batu Ampar – Belawan route, sacrificing the Tanjung Balai Karimun and Tanjung Priok stops as they aren’t as popular. You should check PELNI’s website at www.pelni.co.id for the latest timetable details.


View the details of my journey on the KM Kelud here:

Follow my journey from Singapore to Bali by Land and Sea here!


On first impression at Batu Ampar, the crowd wasn’t intimidating after all. When I joined the queue, there was a grand total of 4 passengers – that’s number of people and not groups – ahead of me, so I was processed rather fast by the guy scanning my ticket, tearing his portion off and stamping my hand with the “PELNI Seal of Approval”. Boarding only looked messy because there are a few parallel lines, including one for the porters’ entry.

(Of course it isn’t called that, in case you’re actually wondering. It’s more of a big red circle instead.)

My stamped and validated ticket.

The transfer bus to the ferry is operated by a Trans Batam Hino bus. Not sure if the port, PELNI and DAMRI is actually one giant transport company or it’s actually chartered.

The Trans Batam bus dropping us off at the ship.

This ship is bigger than I imagined it to be.

The welcome panel up the gangway on board the KM Kelud.

In case you’re wondering, KM isn’t part of the actual name of the ship. In the English-speaking world, you might be more familiar with the abbreviation MV in front of ships instead, which stands for Motor Vessel. KM stands for Kapal Motor, which is the same thing in Indonesian. The ship’s namesake, Kelud, is a mountain on West Java which you will see in an upcoming post.

And lunch is actually served. I wasn’t expecting this. Turns out that they prepare a small lunch portion for the early birds who board early, since boarding starts at 11am and the ship sets sail at 1pm. How nice of them.


Each Class 1A cabin fits two people, and can be shared between two single travellers of the same sex.

Slipping off from Batu Ampar Port.

The Singapore skyline as seen from the ship.

Shortly after departure, an announcement was made for all passengers to return to their respective places for ticket checking, and all connecting doors between parts of the ship will be locked.

Now for more pictures of the facilities on board the KM Kelud.


The sun deck on Deck 7.


There is an Alfamart on the roof (that’s what it says on the ship plan), above Deck 7, with a seating area outside.




The Alfamart is pretty well-stocked on board the KM Kelud. There’s everything you need and more. Prices are around double or triple of the Alfamarts on land though.

A clinic is available on board for any medical needs.

A photo wall is available outside the clinic in case you fail to spot any real-life dolphins out at sea.

A nice painting of the KM Kelud.

A new Economy Class layout with double deck bunk beds, as opposed to the other pictures I have seen online.


There is also a mini theatre on Deck 2, the lowest deck a passenger can access. Tickets for each movie screening cost Rp10,000, which will be announced and opened about an hour before the movie begins.


Outside the theatre, there are the older Economy Class bed frames which seem to be undergoing on upgrade with power sockets for each bed.


The PELNI Mart outside of the First Class area.

The route map of the KM Kelud.

The dinner spread for the entire number of passengers in First AND Second Class.


My portion for dinner.

After dinner was done, I walked around the ship to watch the sunset.


The next day, I was awoken at around 4.30am for the Subuh prayer blasted on the PA system. While there was a slight buffer thanks to my cabin door, somehow it felt really loud as compared to the ones in the day time.

After the prayer, I couldn’t get back to sleep since I slept for quite a while already, so I just freshened up after tossing and turning for a while and prepared to be called to breakfast.


Breakfast was white rice with bee hoon and omelette. I just took the bee hoon an omelette though everyone else treated the bee hoon as the side dish to the white rice.

I got a Pop Mie Goreng and a Kopi Bali from Alfamart for my post-breakfast pre-lunch meal. The noodles were prepared by the awesome Alfamart guy who wouldn’t let you serve yourself in the self-service convenience store and made the entire meal for me, including draining the water and adding the ingredients in. Not forgetting the additional cardboard sleeve and stirrer for the coffee.

I ate my morning tea outside with the friendly locals whom I met the previous day. Most of them were coming from Belawan (Medan), which might explain the lack of passengers boarding from Batam.

Three of the significant people I met on this cruise ferry were a Swiss guy who came from home overland, similar to my journey, to Jakarta to work for a few months as National Service, a friendly Indonesian who spent 20 years in France (and spoke to the Swiss guy in French, but the Swiss guy was from the German-speaking part of Switzerland), and another Indonesian who spent 30 years in Singapore working for the maritime industry and “watched the port grow from Pasir Panjang to Tuas”.

No modern entertainment, but lots of friendly locals around. If you spent the entire journey from Belawan to Jakarta, you might even be friends with the entire deck of passengers.


I decided to explore the Economy Class section when I realised that the entire Deck 3 and 2 of the ship was empty. So much for overcrowding on the ship. But then again, I did plan my journey so that it doesn’t clash with any peak periods.

Back at Deck 4 where the bulk of Economy Class passengers have beds on. Even on this deck, you can still see some empty bunks especially on the upper tier.

The PELNI Mart on Deck 4. The offerings here are similar to the one on Deck 6 where the First Class cabins are.


Lunch on Day 2.

The live band is back, entertaining what is of the passengers in First and Second Class. They were also at the restaurant for the previous day’s dinner.

This seems rather sad actually. I wonder how this place was like in the ship’s heyday.




There’s a canteen with real prepared food outside the Economy Class on Deck 5.

Here’s some items on the menu. Individual dishes with rice are also available to choose from on the counter.


I got a packet of Nasi Goreng as when I asked the stewards during lunch if dinner will be served, they were still unsure and if there will be, they will knock on my door again. So I got this meal as a standby.

My fourth meal today.

My last meal on the KM Kelud before arriving in Jakarta.

Meal No. 5 today. This is indeed turning into a cruise instead.

The KM Kelud was already outside of the Port of Tanjung Priok at around 5pm, when dinner was served, and stopped short of entering the port. After about another half an hour of non-movement, the captain made an announcement saying that we are “drifting” as they are waiting for the pilot to board the ship to bring us into the port, and that we would get moving in about 20 minutes. Precise choice of words there.

The announcement was made in both Indonesian and English by the way.

Approaching the Port of Tanjung Priok as the sky gets dark.


The welcome to the Port of Tanjung Priok. That isn’t the passenger building or a shopping mall by the way, just blocks of office buildings.

Here’s the actual passenger terminal.

The wharf here seems shorter than the one at Batu Ampar in Batam, hence needing the additional steps for the lower decks of the ship.

Descending down the stairs to disembark from Deck 5 and not the Economy Class gangway I was ushered onto on the first day.

The gangway was rather worn out and steep though. Furthermore, this had curved steps rather than height-adjustable flat steps.

Descending down slowly and carefully.

The exterior of the KM Kelud.

A final look at my floating hotel for the past 30 hours.

The KM Kelud departs from Batu Ampar in Batam for Tanjung Priok, Jakarta at 1.00pm on Wednesdays and returns to Batam and Belawan on Fridays at 8.00am.

The full routing of the KM Kelud is Belawan – Tanjung Balai Karimun – Batu Ampar – Tanjung Priok – Batu Ampar – Tanjung Balai Karimun – Belawan, though during peak seasons such as the month of Ramadan, more trips will be added on the Belawan – Batu Ampar – Belawan route, sacrificing the Tanjung Balai Karimun and Tanjung Priok stops as they aren’t as popular. You should check PELNI’s website at www.pelni.co.id for the latest timetable details.

After walking about 1km from the Port of Tanjung Priok, I got to Tanjung Priok Railway Station at 7.15pm, 5 minutes after the scheduled departure of the last KRL train bound for Jakarta Kota.

The gates to the platform were shut already.

Disappointed, I backtracked to the Transjakarta halt.


Inside my Corridor 12 bus.


After about an hour thanks to the evening Jakarta jams at the road junctions, I arrived at Jakarta Kota to transfer to the KRL.


View the details of my journey on the KM Kelud here:

Follow my journey from Singapore to Bali by Land and Sea here!

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