2024 is set to be the biggest year on record for cruise travel in Bali.
The government and private investors are pumping huge funds into developing the island as a leading cruise destination in Southeast Asia.
The first of seventy jumbo cruise liners scheduled for 2024 has docked into Bali’s Benoa Harbour.
The Norwegian Jewel brought 2,350 tourists along for the journey and docked overnight while tourists explored the island.
The ship was welcomed with the full Balinese fanfare including traditional dancers who performed the Jauk Keras, Jauk Manis, as well as the Keraton Legong Dance.
The Noegrwian Jewel docked in Bali for one night and began its onward journey to Singapore on Tuesday afternoon.
The cruise had set sail from Laem Chabang, Chonburi Province, Thailand, and arrived in Bali via a short stop at Selamat Harbour in Nusa Tenggara Barat.
The 294m ship is one of the largest vessels to dock in Benoa Harbour and is being celebrated as the launch of a huge year for cruise travel in Bali.
The 2,350 passengers aboard the Norwegian Jewel were accompanied by over 1,000 crew members.
In fact, the cruise travel boom that is about to take off in Bali will have great benefits for tourists and for local communities. The cruise industry presents an incredible set of career opportunities for young people in Bali.
Ex-cruise ship worker and Chair of the Ganesh Aksara Wiguna Foundation, Ketut Suarnata, spoke to reporters about how legislation must be changed to help support young Balinese workers who want to start a career on the cruise ships.
His foundation provides hospitality and English language training to young people seeking careers abroad.
Suarnata wants to see costs reduced to help young people get into the travel sector, or more funding made available to sponsor Balinese youth in the early years of their careers.
He explained that prospective cruise workers must prepare a number of documents, such as passports, visas, and certificates, and fund training fees upfront.
Suarnata, who is running to be the next Regent of Klungkung in the upcoming general election in February, wants to do all he can to support young people in building prosperous careers.
He said, “Salaries abroad, especially on cruise ships, are much higher than in Bali. With high salaries, it is easier for the younger generation to develop themselves and build their future.”
He also noted that more Balinese staff working on cruise ships around the world will introduce more people the the beautiful hospitality of Balinese people which will increase tourism on the island of Bali too.
Suarnata explained “We must always maintain our attitude and behavior. We must be able to be good ambassadors for the nation in the eyes of the world.”
A number of renovations are underway at Benoa Harbour in Bali to help make the cruise travel experience even more efficient and memorable for tourists.
The recent extension of the pier means that the harbor can now receive cruise ships up to 500m in length, rather than 350m.
The next project set for completion is a collaboration between BUMN and Pelindo, since the current 46-meter gangway currently in use is just a temporary structure, a new permanent gangway will be built that will make boarding and disembarking cruise ships easier and more comfortable for tourists.
In 2024 Indonesia is targeting to welcome 11.4 million international tourists. Since Bali remains the flagship destination in Indonesia, the vast majority of these tourists will be heading to the Island of the Gods for their vacations.
Though if travel trends continue as predicted, there are likely to be even more international arrivals visiting Bali this year, especially with so many cruise ships scheduled to dock in Benoa Harbour and no doubt, even more, to be added to the schedule as demand continues to rise.
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