Cruises Help Tourists Access More Of Indonesia

Indonesia Cruising On The Rise

As the largest archipelago in the world, the beauty of Indonesia is reflected in its vast waters, making it a perfect destination for yachts and cruise trips. Committed to making it easier for both yachters and cruise ships to enter its waters, the Indonesian government has implemented a number of policies that simplify procedures. Among these, is the Transportation Minister Regulation No. 121, the year 2015 regarding easier regulation for tourists who takes on a foreign-flagged cruise ship.

The policy includes a waiver of cabotage so that cruise ships are able to embark and disembark passengers at the appointed sea ports. These appointed sea ports are: Tanjung Priok in Jakarta, Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, Tanjung Benoa in Bali, Belawan in Medan, and the Makassar Sea Port in Makassar.

Through this policy, tourists can now explore more fascinating wonders of the archipelago since they can visit more destinations across Indonesia.

Tanjung Priok is the main sea port of the capital city of Jakarta and is the busiest and most advanced Indonesian seaport, handling more than 50 percent of Indonesia’s trans-shipment cargo traffic. It is also one of the main gateway to the capital city that offers a plenty of fascinating splendors, such as the iconic National Monument or Monas, the Old Batavia Complex, the vast recreational resort of Ancol Dream Land. Meanwhile, the Port of Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, the capital city of East Java Province, is the second busiest seaport in the country. You can also explore an array of amazing destinations throughout East Java including Mount Bromo, Ijen Crater, the resort hill town of Batu and Malang and much more.

Indonesia cruise holiday

Located in the city of Denpasar, Benoa is the main port of the island of Bali and the main gateway to enter the island via sea. It is the port for tourist day-trip boats, private yachts, fishing vessels, Inter-Island ferries, as well as international cruise ships. The port is located closely to popular tourists’ attractions such as Kuta Beach, Sanur Beach, Nusa Dua, and much more. Moving on to Sumatra, the Port of Belawan in Medan is known as Indonesia’s busiest seaport outside of Java. Here, there are weekly passenger ships operated by Pelni from Medan to Tanjung Balai Karimun, Batam, Riau Islands and Tanjung Priok, Jakarta, as well as regular ferry services to Penang in Malaysia as well as Phuket in Thailand. From Medan you can also explore various wonders of North Sumatra, such as the famous Lake Toba and Samosir Island.

Last on the list of appointed seaports, Port of Makassar,  also known as the Port of Soekarno-Hatta, have the highest passenger traffic among Indonesian ports and the largest cargo traffic in Sulawesi. Just as other primary ports, this is also the main sea gateway of South Sulawesi. Stepping down from the ship, you can explore the many wonders of Makassar such as Losari Beach and Fort Rotterdam or even further to the magnificent Toraja Highlands and Bulukumba where they make the legendary Phinisi Ship.

The cruise ships that have made Indonesia home include:

Singapore-based Genting Dream embarked on its inaugural voyage from Singapore to Surabaya on December 2017. This latest regular route takes tourists to explore the enchanting natural wonders as well as fascinating cultural attractions of Indonesia. Regarded as the largest and most luxurious cruise ship in Asia, Genting Dream is 335.33 meters long, 39.7 meters wide, and weighs at 150,695 GT with a top speed of over 23 knots. Dream Cruises have frequently visited many fascinating destinations across the archipelago including Komodo Island, Anambas Islands, Bali, Medan, and Jakarta.

Sulawesi sunset



The Italian Mega Cruise MV Costa Victoria made a trip to Aceh on November 2017. The cruise made port at Sabang for 5 days and 4 nights while bringing along more than 2,000 tourists. Leaving from Singapore on an Islamic Cruise Trip, tourists were taken to various attractions across Aceh including the Tsunami Museum (Sukaramai, Baiturrahman), The Stranded PLTD Apung Ship (Punge Baling Cut, Jaya Baru), and the Ship on top of a house (Lampulo, Kuta Alam).

MV Silver Discoverer made port at Tanjungwangi in Banyuwangi Regency, East Java Province on 24 November 2017. The ship that bears the Bahama Flag sailed from Singapore for the second time and brought along of around a hundred international tourists to various cities in Indonesia and one of them is Banyuwangi. Previously, the ship has made voyages to Komodo Island and Benoa in Bali. In Banyuwangi, tourists got the chance to visit the amazing Ijen Crater and Kaliklatak Plantation. Silver Discoverer is a relatively small, yacht-type cruise ship operated by Silversea Cruises as the third member of its Silversea Expeditions fleet.

The MS Costa Allegra made port at the Soekarno Hatta Port in Makasar on October 2009. Hundreds of international tourists on board were taken to explore various attractions in-and-around Makassar, including Bantimurung Nature Reserve, Fort of Soma Opu, and Fort Rotterdam. Owned by the Italy-based Costa Cruises, MS Costa Allegra is one of many subsidiaries owned by Costa’s parent company Carnival Corporation.. The eight decks on Costa Allegra were named after famous impressionist painters. A three deck high glass atrium is the center of the ship. Works of art are displayed throughout the ship.

Pacific Eden made in 2017 as the first large ship to berth alongside the newly constructed Benoa Pier in Bali. Sailed off from Fremantle, Australia, the massive cruise ship brought along 1500 international tourists to explore the splendors of the beautiful island. On this inaugural voyage, the ship also visited Labuan Bajo and the magnificent Komodo National Park as well as Lombok, right next to Bali. Pacific Eden is a cruise ship of P&O Cruises Australia. Built for the Holland America Line in 1993 as the Statendam, in November 2015 it was transferred to P&O Cruises Australia and changed its name into what it is known today. Pacific Eden offers luxury penthouse suites, sixteen dining experiences, and a top deck pool which is always open thanks to the retractable roof.

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at All proceeds are donated to causes in Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia by Gary Chandler

Cruise Options Expanding Across Indonesia

Small, Custom Tours The Best Way To See Many Islands

By Johnny Morris, The Telegraph

The message from the ship’s PA system was as crystal clear as our view of the smoking island. “For passengers wishing to climb the active volcano the captain has secured clearance for landing.”

It was a surprise addition to the schedule. Minutes later we were skimming towards the hot spot in zodiacs. Trousers rolled up for landing, I began to see the benefits of an “expeditionary” cruise on a smaller ship.

anak krakatau Indonesia volcano

I had joined Ponant’s Le Soléal in Singapore for a 12-day voyage through the Indonesian islands to Bali. On day three we dropped anchor in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra.

Our schedule had promised a gentle sail around Krakatau’s archipelago – not a visit to the world’s most famous volcano because, as pub-quiz aficionados know, Krakatau is an ex-volcano.

After its eruption in 1883 – the most violent volcanic explosion in recorded history – Krakatau collapsed into the sea, creating a massive caldera. All that remains are a few shattered islands and the legend of a bang heard as far away as Sri Lanka.

Luckily for visiting vulcanologists, and the local tourist industry, Anak Krakatau, or Son of Krakatau, began emerging from the waters in 1927. Although not as dramatic as the original, it has grown (at an average rate of five inches a week) into a fully functioning volcano. Photos show a full arsenal of eruptive party tricks: fire fountains, streaming lava, spatter bombs and even the odd seismic wobble.

The hike up Anak Krakatau was a lesson in geomorphology. After the brief shade of virgin forest, we climbed black slopes punctuated with scorched casuarina and fig trees, plus a few flowering plants that find a home in the fertile lava. On the surface were granite rocks the size of bowling balls hurled from the volcano’s core. Local guides led us to a spot where the fine black lava stopped and a barrier of steaming hot rocks began.

cruise Indonesia

Far below, Le Soléal looked like a toy boat afloat in Krakatau’s caldera. It was a fair way down but she was moored close enough to assure us of a quick getaway if Anak awoke.

The unscheduled excursion was “typical of the core spirit of Compagnie du Ponant”, explained Jerome Pierre, Le Soléal’s cruise director, over beers in the ship’s Grand Salon. Starting out with Le Ponant, a three-masted luxury yacht for just 64 passengers, the line’s fleet will grow to seven in 2018 (in December Ponant announced the launch of the first LNG-powered electric hybrid cruise icebreaker).

The original barque is kept on as the company’s talisman, while mega yachts provide a niche offering for the luxury market. Le Soléal was the first French passenger vessel to navigate the Northwest Passage.

It is difficult to associate the harsh discipline of an Arctic crossing with the ship’s interior design. First impressions are of a fashionable Champs-Élysées boutique. Soft leather furniture lends communal areas a chic air, while reception desks in white Corian scream boutique hotel; likewise the well-groomed staff.

My cabin offered a refreshing white palette, with a pencil-line motif from shower to balcony giving the look of luxury yacht accommodation. Only the look, I’m afraid, as most materials were faux – leather, veneer wood and plastic orchids.

Despite this, interior designer Jean-Philippe Nuel has created a sense of uncluttered elegance. Clearly, what he saved on surfaces he has spent on fittings, with slick designer lighting including the best bedside lamp I have ever seen.

Borobudur Java Indonesia

As we sailed east we visited the world’s largest Buddhist temple at Borobudur and the railway system of central Java constructed by Dutch colonists. Excursions highlighted the gap between the earthy thrust of Indonesia and the sophisticated languor of life on board.

In the busy port of Surabaya, after battling with high humidity, waves of scooter traffic and the frenzy of a morning market, I staggered up the ship’s gangplank to indulge in an air-conditioned pedicure, petits fours and a classical piano recital. Often Le Soléal felt like an exclusive arrondissement of Paris adrift in the South China Sea.

This dizzying contrast of cultures reached its height as we approached Komodo Island, home to the world’s largest lizards. “You only need to worry if the dragon swishes its tail,” warned Tajudin, our National Park ranger. Cue tail swish. “Forget the photograph now, madame!” Cue screams and a scattering of passengers as the nine-foot long carnivore began its starting sprint. Thankfully, Tajudin had his trusty cleft stick handy and pinned the lizard’s neck before it ran amok.

Komodo dragon Rinca island

On Komodo it was essential to follow the guide’s flag to stay safe. As we stomped through mangrove forest up to folds of virgin green savannah, there was a genuine nervousness among the group.

Basking lizards are the colour, size and shape of fallen trees (and there were many big logs around). Their forked tongues can sense blood up to six miles away; they can swallow a goat whole and eat up to 80 per cent of their body weight in one sitting, yet can exist on just 12 meals a year. Oh, and unusually for lizards, the males are monogamous and have two penises – poor fellows.

I was full of cautious respect when we came across two dragons slumbering by a waterhole. In all, we saw five and I enjoyed visiting them in their own habitat rather than staring at caged beasts.

On board we prepared for an evening of fine dining and contemporary ballet. Ponant aims to offer a taste of French art de vivre, which included crêpes suzette cookery lessons, illuminating lectures on Indochina from a French perspective, and a few dull PowerPoint talks on wildlife. We were treated to piano recitals, arthouse films starring Catherine Deneuve, and an interpretation of Picasso’s life through contemporary dance that I could have done without.

All very highbrow – until Jerome Pierre announced a pirate-themed fancy-dress evening, quizzes and crab-racing.

There were French officers and bar staff with Maurice Chevalier accents; gentle spa treatments, and beauty products from a Paris-based salon. Among excellent French wines were surprise vintages from the south of the country.

Read The Full Story About Cruising Indonesia

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and CEO is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia