A coordination meeting led by Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan on Aug. 1 resulted in a decision to begin the development of Benoa – Bali Cruise Ship Terminal by September this year.
The construction project is assigned to state-owned port management company PT Pelindo III and is set to be complete by the end of next year.
The new port will be able to welcome mega cruise ships that can accommodate up to 5,000 passengers and 1,500 crew members, or equal to 44 Boeing 737 planes.
Currently the Benoa Port can only accommodate two cruise ships.
“The East Dock Pool will be 662 x 150 meters with the depth of 11 meters whilst the West Dock Pool will be 900 x 150 meters with the depth of four meters. The Cruise Ship Terminal will be able to manage 2,500 passengers on a single batch,” said Pelindo III president director Ari Ashkara.
Apart from the Cruise Ship Terminal, the ministry also plans to develop Celukan Bawang Port in North Bali starting December 2017 until March 2018 to allow it to welcome seven tourist ships carrying 1,000 passengers each.
“Celukan Bawang Port already has the sea level that fits the standard so no further dredging is needed. The huge area of the part provides easy access for hundreds of vehicles to transport arriving tourists to tourist attractions,” said Marine Tourism Acceleration Department head Indroyono Soesilo.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said three million tourists in East Asia – Australia region traveled using a cruise ship every year, yet Indonesia only welcomed 200,000 foreign tourists.
“With the availability of the new terminal, I hope the 2019 target of 500,000 foreign tourists from cruise ships can be achieved,” said Arief.
He also hoped the development would be done in a year prior to the IMF-World Bank Annual Meeting that will be held in Bali in October next year.
“Apart from Benoa, we’re also developing Belawan, Tanjung Priok, Tanjung Perak and Soekarno-Hatta ports in Makassar,” added Arief.