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Cruise Ship Abandons East Bali Anchorages

Authorities Failure to Address Complaint of Insufficient Draft for Ships' Tender Operations in Karangasem Cause Cruise Ship to Shift Bali Operations to Benoa Harbor Anchorage.

(5/31/2010) Karangasem regency is expected to suffer a loss of Rp. 200 million (US$21,800) each month from its tourism economy due to a decision by Costa Cruise Lines to bypass anchoring at Labuan Amuk in favor of anchoring outside Benoa Harbor on the island's south.

The decision to relocate the Bali port-of-call for Costa Cruises was prompted by inadequate draft at the tendering dock used to embark and disembark passengers.

Cruise operators using the East Bali port have unsuccessfully lobbied for local authorities to dredge the approaches to the docks to prevent passenger tenders from running aground.

The Costa Allegra makes regular calls at Bali carrying an average 550 passengers per trip. Local tourism leaders in Karangasem estimate that each visit to the Labuan Amok port generates at least Rp. 200 million (US$21,800) in local tourism revenues.

A problem common to all ships calling on East Bali, the lack of sufficient water draft threatens the viability of future ships calls on East Bali. Meanwhile, local officials are unprepared to put a target date for dredging the tender approaches, saying the matter is still under technical review by consultants.