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Pearls at Sea

Bali Hai Cruises Offers Pearl Farm Visit as a Bonus to Day Cruise Passengers.

(4/9/2006) Taking advantage of the pristine tropical waters surrounding Bali considered perfect for nurturing and production of South Sea Pearls, Bali's near neighbour of Nusa Lembongan is now home to a fully operational pearl farm.

A joint venture between Bali Hai Cruises and Atlas Pacific - acknowledged leaders in the field of pearl cultivation, the pearl farm will allow passengers on board Bali Hai's popular day cruise the chance to see first-hand how valuable pearls are produced by nature, all done with a little help from man.

The pearl experience tour begins with a cruise along the coral reef aboard Bali Hai's Semi Submersible Coral Viewer. Guests can observe the long line nets from which developing oysters are suspended beneath the oceanís surface in a process that takes up to four years.

Pearl Cultivation

Two years into the growth process, the oysters are momentarily removed from the sea and "starved" overnight, encouraging the shell to open naturally. Seeding involves an intricate procedure in which a tiny bead or nucleus, made from donated pearl shell, is introduced into the oyster around which a pearl should eventually form.

Guests on the new pearl experience tour will have the opportunity to watch technicians performing this surgery at the Visitors Center, located within Bali Hai's Private Beach Club. In the often secretive and well guarded world of pearl cultivation, this will be a rare opportunity for the public to observe the seeding procedure.

Once seeded, the oysters are returned to their nets for an additional two years during which they "grow" a pearl. Also at the Visitor's Center a nine minute movie illustrating the life of a pearl producing oyster this process. And, yes, pearls are available for purchase with helpful staff ready to impart how size, color, shape, surface and luster of a pearl determine its commercial value.

Pearl Evening Cruise

As part of Bali Hai Cruises new emphasis on the pearl industry, the Company has also launched a Pearl Evening Cruise onboard their sailing catamaran Aristocat. Evening departures from Benoa Harbor an evening cruise of fine dining and musical entertainment will also include an opportunity to taste pearl meat.

Photos from Pearl Farm Visit (Click to Enlarge)

 

More information: http://www.balidiscovery.com/tours/tour.asp?Id=183