Benoa Port
Infrastructure at Bali’s largest port, Benoa, is currently being developed to accommodate more cruise ships that could significantly contribute to the island’s tourism, the port’s management said Monday. The development included expanding the wharf, deepening the yacht basin and improving the terminal, said Iwan Sabatini, general manager of PT Pelindo III Benoa, the state-owned company that manages the port. “We are targeting being able to accommodate more and larger cruise ships. Our total investment for this multi-year project is Rp 600 billion [US$62.2 million] until 2015,” Iwan told Bali Daily. This year, the project has seen deepening of the basin from minus 10 meters LWS (low water spring) to minus 11 meters LWS to enable the mooring of larger cruise ships with a length of more than 300 meters. “The most costly part of the project is the deepening and expanding the wharf,” Iwan said, adding that the project would also include building a mooring dolphin. To improve the cruise terminal, the port would provide more X-ray machines, check-in counters, waiting rooms, as well as other facilities, including preparing officers for customs, immigration and quarantine. All these improvements were being carried out because this port was a pilot project for the first “turn-around port” in Indonesia, which was one that conducted embarkation and debarkation, Iwan said. Previously, the port only functioned as a destination port, where cruise ships only made a stopover for several hours to allow the passengers to go sightseeing on the island. By being a turn-around port, the passengers or tourists taking a tour package, have to wait for several days before embarking. This could increase hotel occupancies and spending that would bring a greater contribution to the island’s tourism. “If each tourist spends at least $100 per day and they stay in Bali for several days, there would be a significant profit for the tourist industry,” Iwan said. Next year, 13 cruise ships are scheduled to turn around in Benoa, including Classic International, Companie du Ponant, Crystal Cruise, Orion Expedition Cruise, Seabourne Cruise and Voyage of Antiquity. The port management recorded that the number of tourists visiting Bali on cruise ships through Benoa in 2011 reached 42,000 people. This year, the number is estimated to reach 50,000. As of November, there had been 48,600 tourists entering Bali through the port. Next year, the number is targeted to reach 60,000 tourists through 30 cruise calls. The tourism and creative economy ministry has targeted 300 cruise ships docking in ports all over Indonesia. The ministry’s data showed that the number of cruise calls to the country’s ports had increased from 176 in 2011 to 214 this year. Next year, the number is targeted to reach 300 calls. Benoa was one of the main ports in the country and contributed 24 percent of total cruise calls and 40 percent of total passengers. It had also been popular in the world as a tourism hub port, Iwan said. “Our priority is to ensure that all cruise ships could dock in Benoa safely and securely, and all the embarkation and debarkation activities in the terminal could run smoothly with all these improvements,” he stressed. source: Bali Daily