East Java vies for cruise calls

DENPARSAR: 28 November 2017: Bali’s lead as Indonesia’s top cruise port-of-call could ultimately be challenged by Banyuwangi in East Java.

According to Bali Update the international cruise vessel MV Silver Discoverer made the East Java town a port of call last Friday for the first time.

Other cruise ships are likely to follow. While it is good news for Indonesia’s cruise service operators, ultimately it will lead to a heightened level of ‘friendly’ competition with Bali for the lucrative cruise handling business.

Cruise market experts say “more the merrier” for Indonesia, which has vast potential to become the region’s top cruise destination.

But as more port of calls are developed it will create pressure on  pricing and increase competition for Bali, the pioneer destination. Bali has been a port of call for international cruise ships for decades, which helped to raise awareness for the island destination, worldwide.

Kompas.com reports that the 103-metre long cruise ship carrying 182 passengers visited the East Java port for 10 hours, while passengers took tours to the Ijen Volcano, visited the nearby Kaliklatak plantation complex, and enjoyed a traditional East Java music and dance presentation.

According to Bali Update  head of the Banyuwangi Tourism Office, MY Bramuda, said he hopes more cruise ships would soon call on the Banyuwangi port. Work is underway on a new marina complex at the picturesque Pantai Boom that is expected to attract even more cruise ship visits. Government officials in East Java are now exploring options to attend major cruise shows to promote the destination.

The Tanjungwangi Port is  equipped with a 543-metre long pier, 120 metrs of which conforms to ISPS codes for cruise ship handling. The depth of the port measures between 12 to 14 metres. Local officials say they are ready to service ships spanning 200 metres.

(News source: Balidiscovery.com)