Port of Lembar on Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), received international cruise ship visits. MV. Sun Princess anchored on its cruise route from Darwin Harbour in Australia to Phu My Port in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
“The cruise brought 2,191 foreign tourist passengers with 855 crew members. The ship’s body length reaches 261 meters with a height of 56 meters and weighs up to 77,441 GT,” said Pelindo III Corporate Secretary, Faruq Hidayat.
“MV. Sun Princess is a luxury cruise that operated by experienced operator, Princess Cruises. This shows that Lombok Island remains the preferred tourist destination in the cruise ship tourism industry,” said Faruq Hidayat.
Based on Pelindo III’s data, the number of cruise visits in Lembar Port was 8 ships in 2017. It increased slightly to 9 ships in 2018. In 2019 it was targeted that there would be 14 international cruise ships anchored at that sea gate of Lombok’s tourism.
Pelindo III was also building Gili Mas Terminal as an expansion of service area in Port of Lembar. The terminal would become a multipurpose terminal that served container loading and unloading, along with international cruise ship services which had capacity of up to 4,000 passengers.
Cruise Asia Tour Operator Yasa Sediya Ketut, who was contacted separately from Dili, East Timor, revealed that his party strongly supported the development of the Port of Lembar carried out by Pelindo III. Gili Mas Terminal would encourage Lombok tourism promotion.
“The construction of more adequate facilities, of course, improves speed and comfort of ship accessibility. If a cruise can berth alongside the wharf, then passenger embarkation is easier and faster, because there is no need for thunderboat. It will cut 30 minutes to one hour transit time. So, tourists can enjoy Lombok longer,” he said.
Head of the West Nusa Tenggara Tourism Office, Lalu Mohammad Faozal, who visited the port directly, explained that as many as 600 tourists had booked to take part in tour packages in several districts on Lombok.
“Some buses have been prepared as a means of transportation, for those who will take the tour. For the rest, there are those who travel using taxi or vehicle that has been booked in private. The destinations that will be visited are Senggigi Beach, Sesela, Lingsar, Taman Pura Narmada, Sukarare, and Sasak Sade traditional villages,” he explained.