Cruise travel is accounting for an increasing amount of tourism in Bali.
The Indonesian province is best known as a destination for 1-2 week vacations and month-long backpacking adventures, but with more cruise ships docking on the island comes more whistle-stop adventure.
Travel data shows that the revenue growth of the cruise industry has grown 36.55% across the world over the last few years.
Leaders in Bali have long wanted to be part of the action, but the small province has not had the infrastructure to welcome giant cruise liners as popular cruise resorts in the Caribbean can.
As work remains underway on the Bali Maritime Tourism Hub in Benoa, more mid-sized cruise ships are being welcomed in the north of the island.
According to the dock authorities for Benoa Harbor, over 22,000 people have visited Bali on cruise ships that have docked in the port in the year to date.
The General Manager of Pelindo Benoa AA Gede Agung Mataram told reporters, “There are many reasons for the increase in passengers, one of which is the government’s easing of rules for visits by foreign tourists this year following the COVID-19 pandemic.”
So far this year, 31 cruise ships have arrived in Benoa, compared to only two last year. The majority of tourists on these ocean adventures come from Europe, mostly the Netherlands and the United States of America.
With twenty more cruises set to arrive in Bali before the end of the year, Mataram is excited about what this emerging market can hold for both tourists to the island and the local economy.
He added, “With this increase, it is hoped that Indonesia’s tourism sector will further develop, having a positive impact on the local and national economy.”
Registration for foreign cruise ships to apply for docking permits for 2025 has already begun, and port authorities are confident that it will be the biggest year yet for cruise travel on the island.
Huge renovations have been undertaken at Benoa Harbor to ensure that the port can support the increasing demand.
This includes renovations to the passenger terminal, currency exchange counters, ATMS, tourist information booths, and a marketplace for local businesses selling tourism services and souvenirs.
Work is still speeding ahead at the Bali Maritime Tourism Hub in Benoa. The center will allow for much larger cruise ships to be able to arrive in Bali, as well as greater provisions for yachts and sailing boats.
The project is costing upwards of USD 80 million and is partially funded by the Indonesian government, alongside private investors.
The project will change the face of the resort of Benoa. Plans outline that a new yacht marina will be created, as well as improved water sports facilities, a theme park, and plenty of other resources to support tourists and tourism businesses.
As a gateway to Bali, Benoa is an ideal starting point. Iconic destinations like Kuta Beach and Sanur Beach are just under a 30-minute drive away.
The must-visit cultural wonders around Ubud are just 90 minutes away from the port, with stunning waterfalls like Tengenungan Waterfall also just an hour away from the dock.
For now, it remains the case that Sanur Harbor is the busiest tourist port in Bali. The recently renovated Sanur Habor sees thousands of tourists every single day of the year.
The port is the main transportation hub for tourists taking day trips to Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan, as well as making the slightly longer journey over to the Gili Islands and Lombok.
The fast boat service from Sanur Habor to Nusa Penida is one of the busiest transportation routes in Bali.
The crossing takes 50 minutes and is offered by a huge number of providers. Tickets are available to purchase in advance or on arrival at Sanur Habor on the day of travel.
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