The Maritime Museum, referred to locally as Museum Bahari, is Indonesia’s only museum that focuses on displaying the nation’s maritime history. Situated on the northern part of Jakarta, in the old harbor area of Sunda Kelapa, the museum was established to inform the people about the important role that the sea had played to make Indonesia what it is today. The museum’s management hopes to preserve the nation’s rich maritime culture and history through the exhibits they present with the hope of cultivating in the visitors an appreciation for the seafaring tradition of Indonesia.
At present, the museum is under the authority of DKI Jakarta, a government institution that is its sole source of funds. DKI Jakarta takes care of the expenses for the museum’s maintenance and salary for the personnel. It also finances all of the exhibits of the museum. Steps have been made to attract more sponsors, particularly private companies, who can help finance the operating expenses for Museum Bahari. Aside from funding from DKI Jakarta, the museum also generates funds from the admission fees of guests.
A trip to the Maritime Museum should be included in your itinerary when you visit Jakarta, especially if you have a deep love for history. The museum’s buildings in themselves have a historical significance. They used to be the warehouses of the Dutch East India Company that were built at the mouth of the Ciliwung River. The museum exhibits consist of models depicting Indonesia’s seafaring history. There are also models of different kinds of fishing boats used in various places in Indonesia and models of more modern steamers.
You will find a fascinating replica of a Pinisi, which is a two-masted schooner with seven or eight sails. It was used by the Bugis from South Sulawesi. Also on display is a replica of a Lancang, a sailboat that was used by people from Banten, Sumatra, and Kalimantan. You will likewise find a model of a gelati, an old fishing boat that used to traverse the Strait Bali. The museum’s educational displays will surely captivate you.
The Maritime Museum is open daily from 9 am to 3 pm except on Mondays. It is closed during holidays except on school holidays. It is located at Jl. Pasar Ikan. You can get there in several ways. The most convenient way is by getting a taxi. If you have rented a car, you may drive there, too, and take the Harbour Toll Road. You may also reach it through Kota, the old center of the city, but the road may be congested.
You can also reach Museum Bahari by riding a bus. You can take the Transjakarta Busway and go down at Stasiun Kota. From there, you can ride a Kopami minivan (either Mikrolet line number 15 or Kopami line number 2), a badjaj, or a sepeda ontel (bicycle taxi) to get to the museum. If you have time in your hands, you can take a leisurely walk from Stasium Kota, and you will reach the Maritime Museum in about 15 minutes.