JAKARTA, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Benoa port on Indonesia's Bali Island on Thursday received the maiden direct berthing of a cruise ship, giving an alternative for foreign visitors to visit the resort island and nearby destinations from the sea.
The seaport successfully accommodated the cruise ship, Pacific Eden, in one of its piers on 11 a.m. local time as well as 1,500 of its passengers.
Head of the marine tourism acceleration team at the Tourism Ministry Indroyono Susilo said that the berthing of Pacific Eden in Benoa was a historic moment for the seaport as it was the first time for a cruise ship to directly berth in the port's pier.
"Previously cruise ships visited Bali used to tie their anchors in the sea, off Benoa seaport. Now they can directly berth in the pier," he said on the sidelines of an event to welcome the cruise ship in Bali.
Besides visiting Bali, passengers of the cruise ship were scheduled to visit nearby prominent destinations of Lombok, Komodo Island and Labuan Bajo.
Benoa is one of Indonesia's five seaports capable of accommodating visits of cruises ships. The other ones were Tanjung Priok, Tanjung Perak, Belawan and Makassar.
Bali Island is expected to welcome 5.5 million foreign visitors this year after it saw the influx of foreign visitors that exceeded the target of 4.2 million ones last year.