Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, participated in the formal launch of KM Kirana VII – a new RoRo Ferry designated to operate a route connecting the ports of Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, Benoa in Bali, and Lembar in Lombok.
The official launching of the ship took place on Saturday, 18 December 2021, at the Bali Port of Benoa.
Operating a large RoRo vessel connecting East Java – Bali – Lombok ushers in a new era in domestic transportation. Private vehicles, public transport, and goods transport will have the option of avoiding the alternative of an arduous overland journey. A similar ferry service connecting Surabaya to Lombok resulted in a noticeable decrease in vehicular traffic transiting Bali traveling from East Java to Lombok.
At the ship launching, Sandiaga expressed his appreciation for the new ferry service that he says will help restore local economies and create new employment opportunities. Adding: “We joyfully greet the presence of KM Kirana VII and the support it will lend to tourism, especially in Bali and Lombok as we prepare for the G20 Summit in Bali and the MotoGP races Lombok in 2020.”
In comments quoted by the States News Agency Antara, Sandiaga said the new ship would transport 500 passengers and around 30 four-wheeled vehicles. A modern vessel, the KM Kirana VII will have a range of new and innovative facilities, including disabled travel facilities, a musalla prayer hall for Islamic travelers, a cafeteria, and a musical performance area.
“It’s hoped that the KM Kirana VII will provide a supporting infrastructure for tourism. Earlier today, we saw its excellent international-standard facilities that will support travel interconnections for Surabaya, Bali, and Nusa Tenggara and mark the beginning of preparations to awaken tourism in Bali and Nusa Tenggara,” he said.
The CEO of PT Dharma Lautan Utama, Erwin H. Poedjono, said that the KM Kirana VII was constructed as a RoRo ferry with standards to serve tourism reflecting the traditions and cultures of Java, Bali, and Lombok.
The KM Kirana VII has a hull length of 73 meters and can sail at 15 knots per hour. Based on the vessel’s rated speed, the sailing time from Surabaya to Bali will be 20 hours and 4 hours from Bali’s port of Benoa to Lembar, Lombok.