Passengers holiday in Bali as Viking Sun cruise ship docks at Benoa harbor

File photo of the Viking Sun docking in Bergen, Norway. Photo: Viking Sun / Facebook
File photo of the Viking Sun docking in Bergen, Norway. Photo: Viking Sun / Facebook

The Bali Provincial Government eventually decided to grant permit for passengers and crew aboard the Norwegian-flagged cruise ship the Viking Sun to disembark in Benoa harbor yesterday, after local health authorities cleared them for entry. 

“If they fulfill the requirements, then there is no reason to not allow the ship to dock. We have received a medical report, and this report was relayed to the governor last night,” Agustinus Maun, who heads the Benoa Port Authority, told Kompas yesterday.

Maun explained that all passengers and crew members were examined under protocols laid out by the World Health Organization. Local health authorities have determined that they were all healthy and did not exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms. 

Bali Governor Wayan Koster delayed the permit to grant Viking Sun entry on Friday, highlighting the need to “smartly mitigate” the situation, after the East Java capital of Surabaya and the Central Java capital of Semarang denied the passengers from disembarking last week. 

The cruise ship was only briefly allowed to dock at Tanjung Emas Port in Semarang on Thursday for logistical purposes.

According to reports, the Viking Sun arrived in Bali waters on Saturday morning and that there were 738 passengers and 442 crew members aboard the cruise ship. 

As many as 375 passengers have reportedly cut their cruise short and opted to return to their respective home countries via Ngurah Rai International Airport, while the remaining passengers chose to go on a one-day tour of the island. The Viking Sun is scheduled to depart for Sri Lanka at 6pm later today.

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