Indonesia is easing access for yachts to enter into Bali, Batam, Bintan and Nunukan and quarantine is now lifted for arrivals by air or by sea.
And good news for foreign-flagged yachts… a new visa is on the horizon as the country slowly gets back to pre-Covid times.
“Most importantly, a new visa is being rolled out soon that would give 180 days straight away with no extensions”, explains Captain Thomas Taatjas of Asia Pacific Superyachts Bali, adding, “This is exciting news as the previous one needed time-consuming extensions at immigration offices every month. This was really a pain for people cruising”, also noting Visa on Arrival is currently available only at the airport and not seaports, including Bali.
President Joko Widodo recently issued a Presidential Decree regarding visa-free facility for visitors from 90 countries and a Presidential Decree for easy access for foreign yachts to enter Indonesia, reported the chairman of the Committee of Public Policy of the ministry of transportation, retired admiral Dr Marsetya. In neighbouring countries especially Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand the number of yacht and cruise ship visits was far higher because procedures to get entry permits are easier there, especially with regard to customs, immigration, quarantine and port clearance, he said.
“There is no longer a quarantine when entering Indonesia, there is no longer a PCR test on arrival and VOA has been reinstated for many countries”, reports Captain Thomas, noting APS will continue to advise and ensure clients are aware of the last-known situation for entering Indonesia. Additionally, he notes foreign yachts are no longer requested to have a CAIT (Clearance, Approval for Indonesia Territory) permit to enter the country.
Year-round cruising is possible because Indonesia spans both sides of the equator – meaning it has both north and south hemispheres. Indonesia lies between 10⁰N and 10⁰S; meaning it it’s out of typhoon and hurricane range. Southern Indonesia (8⁰S parallel, Komodo, Bali, Java Southern Sumatra, etc) is best between May and October; the Northern Hemisphere (Raja Ampat, Sulawesi, Papua, etc) is best between October and May.
This year-round advantage of the largest tropical archipelago in the world gives Indonesia the potential to be the best cruising destination in the world, said Captain Thomas, “It just needs the infrastructure to follow”.
Cruising between more than 17,500 Indonesian islands you will be amazed by the diversity, the culture and the personality of each and every island. There is a reason why Indonesia’s national motto is “Unity in Diversity”.