Bali is probably the best known of the Indonesian islands and is often the first point of call into Indonesia for vessels coming from Singapore, Thailand or areas further West. Bali offers a huge diversity of attractions for visitors although the island itself has limited cruising due to exposed shores and deep slopes. However, it remains a popular starting point for yachts wishing to enjoy an extended cruise east, through the Nusa Tenggara region of Indonesia into the cruising grounds that incorporate and surround Komodo National Park.
Bali is the main international tourist hub for Indonesia and Benoa Harbour is the international port, located on the eastern side of the southern tip of the island. Benoa Port officials can issue Visa On Arrival, making life less complicated for arriving yacht crews and guests. The International airport is also very well connected, with multiple daily flights from Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur. An Execujet Terminal just 10 minutes drive from the port also increases the exclusivity of guests arriving privately.
The island of Bali holds a charm created by its warm, welcoming people and their unique Hindu culture. Both crew and guests will certainly enjoy their time here with something to suit every taste. There are cultural and scenic activities including visits to atmospheric temples and luscious rice paddy views. There is a huge diversity of tourist attractions from wake parks to night zoos. For the more active there is surfing, diving, cylcing, canyoning and trekking. A more relaxing experience takes in beaches, gourmet food in world class restaurants, shopping and spas along with an array of trendy nightlife keeping everyone entertained.
Bali is also the home port of the Lighthouse Team, with the central office based in Sanur, about 15 minutes from Benoa Harbour. Having lived on the island for 20 years and tried and tested the majority of what is on offer, the Lighthouse team are well placed to suggest some of the “must-visit” places to really make the most of this internationally renowned island.
Due to the significant number of luxury residences and five star resorts on Bali, quality provisions are readily available and can be arranged through the Lighthouse provisioning team. Logistically speaking, Bali is the most accessible location to organise first world provisioning without any domestic shipping requirements.
Avoiding expenses by using the Ship Spares in Transit process can be challenging in other areas of Indonesia, however if a vessel is in Benoa Harbour, items can be internationally shipped and delivered to the vessel without incurring the standard import duties associated with sending items to Indonesia.
Bali is a good location to complete simple maintenance projects. It has a decent network for repair and maintenance and is easily accessible for specialist technicians coming from other areas. The well connected airport also provides efficient crew rotation and reception of guests.
Berthing is mostly available in Benoa Harbour and there are three main options. Depending on the traffic, the Benoa Harbour complex is located about 15 minutes from the sleepy town of Sanur and about 30 minutes from the cool nightlife found in Seminyak. If a yacht prefers a quieter location away from a commercial setting then there is the option of the Royal Bali Yacht Club in Serangan Bay to the north of the harbour. Serangan Bay is a great location for crew walking distance to south Sanur and 45 minutes to Seminyak. There are plenty of spacious anchoring options in both of these locations.
For larger yachts the 250+ metres of commercial East Dock in Benoa Harbour gives an option to come alongside. This is a busy, commercial dock and is in regular use by cargo and passenger traffic. In quieter times it has been utilised by yachts for extended periods, although it is often necessary to move for commercial activities, passenger or cruise ship arrivals. There is no potable water or shore power available, although fresh water reservoirs can be installed for vessels planning to stay for long periods. This is the ideal space for large deliveries and a crane can be rented if any heavy lifting is required.
For yachts up to 60 metres there are 3 ‘med style’ stern to berths available at the Big Boat Quay (BBQ). Still in a commercial setting so a little rough and ready with access via a floating platform. Non-potable fresh water is usually supplied via 3000 litre reservoirs and the water is gravity fed or pumped to the vessel. There is no plug in shore power, but shore side generators, although expensive, can be arranged. Technically, it is not possible to advance book a berth so it’s first come first served, but people generally try to help each other out, including moving during arrival and departure maneouvers.
A new option is the Benoa Marina. This is currently the most ‘yacht-standard’ facility in Bali and the floating pontoons are the best that can be booked on the island. Berths have accommodated Lighthouse vessels up to 70 metres with potential for larger yachts depending on the draft. There is pontoon access to shore, non-potable water and low level shore power available on the dock. At the time of writing Benoa Marina is a work in progress, with plans for shore power in the future, along with cafe, chandlers and other yacht focused facilities. It is possible to advance book berths as long a deposits are made.
Serangan Bay is home to the Royal Bali Yacht Club (RBYC) with options for vessels up to 90 metres in three stern to med-style berths. Operators plan to extend this capacity after new concrete jetties are cast and installed. The area is a little exposed, both to wind and the larger swells that come through but Lighthouse has had multiple 60 and 70 metre yachts in this facility. Dayboat speedboats leave from the dock next door, so it has a busy period in the morning and afternoon. This has a slightly cheaper nightly rate than Benoa and berths can be booked in advance as long as they are paid in full in advance.
“We have been using Lighthouse for the past two years whilst cruising Indonesia. With the ever changing regulations/challenges in the area, we are shielded from the hassles and get to concentrate on showing the owners a good time. Its an incredible cruising ground, with beauty above and below the water.”
Captain Andy Squire, MY Sapphire