An Indonesian port authority is investing in the construction of new cruise facilities at Benoa and Celukan Bawang ports in Bali.
The new pier at Benoa will be able to handle mega-ships of up to 5,000 passengers, with drafts exceeding 33 fee, and its shoreside terminal will be built to handle 2,500 passengers at a time. State-owned port operator PT Pelindo III will oversee the project, and work is set to be finished by the end of next year.
In addition, in order to promote business, the port authority plans to cut berthing fees in half at Benoa, down to about $20,000-$25,000 per vessel. Neighboring cruise destinations in Malaysia and Australia were charging less than Indonesian ports, forcing a reduction in rates.
At Celukan Bawang, the government is investing in new facilities for handling up to seven ships of up to 1,000 passengers each. Work will begin in December and should be complete by the end of the first quarter of 2018.
Marine Tourism Acceleration Department head Indroyono Soesilo told the Jakarta Post that Celukan Bawang already has the required harbor depth and the shoreside transportation infrastructure to handle large numbers of mid-size cruise ships.
Future cruise port upgrades could include improvements at Tanjung Priok, Jakarta; Belawan, Sumatra; Tanjung Perak, Java; and Soekarno Hatta, Sulawesi. Indonesia hopes to grow its cruise tourism industry from a current level of 200,000 visitors per year up to 500,000 visitors per year by 2019 – an increase that would provide the country with a significant economic boost.