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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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Bali is just 153km wide by 112km long, and it is a mere 2km southeast of Java in the Indonesian Archipelago. A favoured location for cruise ships, it attracts tours from many operators, including Viking, Cunard and Star Clippers.  

The ships dock either at Benoa Harbour or land passengers by tender at Padang Bay. Located on Bali’s southern Bukit Peninsula, Benoa is close to Nusa Dua, which is known for its clean, white beaches and clear water. It’s also near the thriving resorts of Sanur and Kuta.  

Padang Bay, also known as Padangbai, is a small village where cruise passengers have access to tour buses, taxis and peddlers, as well as shops cafes and a beach.

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Why visit Bali ?

Bali location iamge - CruiseDirection

Small but perfectly formed

A mix of tropical forest, glorious mountain landscape and sandy beaches

When cruising to Bali, you need not worry about packing warm clothes, as the lowest temperature is between 22°C and 23°C, with the average high being between 29°C and 33°C all year round. The dry season lasts between April and October, while the wet season is from November to March.  

Bali is known as the Island of the Gods and has more than 20,000 temples. It has the largest Hindu population in the world outside India, and the island’s inhabitants practice their distinct brand of Hinduism. Tiny offerings of flowers and sweets in a palm leaf tray, known as canang siri, are made every day and are found everywhere. There are almost daily festivals featuring traditional dances, such as the Barong and Kris.  

Try a visit to the artist’s hub of Ubud in the centre of the island. Known for its numerous galleries and artisan’s workshops, it’s a collection of 14 separate villages, often separated by rice terraces. In the centre is the beautiful Puri Saren Agung, which was once part of the royal palace. In the villages to the north and east, many people still wear traditional dress, such as kebayas and sarongs.  

Fifteen miles from Benoa Harbour is Denpasar, a university town and cultural centre. It has museums to visit, and the Bali Culture Centre, which includes the internationally recognised Konservatori Kerawitan, is a major centre for Balinese dance.  

A cruise that stops off in Bali gives you the opportunity to get a glimpse of this magical place, both for its beautiful coastline and its lush and tropical interior.  

Take a trip to Gunung Batur, a volcano that offers incredible views over the iconic green landscape, or visit the Kerta Gosa Hall of Justice and the Bale Kambang Floating Pavilion in Klungkung. Other highlights include the 12th-century Shiva temple Pura Kehen in Bangli; Pura Tirta Empul, a temple in Tampaksiring; and the ancient village of Tenganan in Karangasem, known for its unique Bali Aga culture.  

If you are exhausted from all that sightseeing, there’s always the traditional Balinese massage, available in luxury spas, hotels and on the beaches.  

Bali is a real treat. It is rich in culture, history, landscape and the sea, with something for everyone.

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