Bali Hai I was the first boat in the fleet. It was made in March 1990 by Fremantle company Austal, a well regarded boat and yacht building company that specialises in the design, construction and support of defence and commercial ships.
The boat then started doing cruises from Benoa to Nusa Lembongan, where day trippers could experience the stunning waters by diving, snorkeling or just paddling on the beach. But it was obvious even in the early days that there would a be growing demand for this type of day cruise around the islands of Bali, so Bali Hai II was built in April 1994…and since then, the business has continued growing to be one of the biggest cruise and dive companies in Indonesia.
I spoke with Pak Pande, who has been with Bali Hai Cruises for year, so he remembers all the changes and has first hand experience with how the company has developed and grown. Initially, he says, it was just one boat doing cruises. They soon realised this wouldn’t be enough to meet with tourist demand, so now the company boasts 4 different types or sizes of boats, the beautiful Hai Tide Beach Resort and Hai Bar & Grill restaurant on the beach of Nusa Lembongan, Bali Hai Beach Club, Anchorage Club, activities like diving, Aquanauts, snorkeling and parasailing, plus 3 pontoons and smaller boats to support all the activities!
They launched some of the other boats in later years, Aristocat Sailing catamaran in 1996, Ocean Rafting boat in 1999, and Sail Sensations in 2012…so who knows? Another boat or two in the future?!
Over the years, Bali Hai Cruises has entertained millions of visitors to Bali, shown them island life, and helped them experience adventures you just can’t find anywhere else. With so many cruises and activities on offer, and now their own resort accommodation, it’s no wonder guests keep coming back time and time again. For privacy reasons, I probably shouldn’t mention celebrity names… but they have entertained the who’s who from around the world starting with Bob Hawke and Dawn Fraser (see the article in the photo) to most recently hosting the team from The Amazing Race! In fact, check out the latest series and you might even see some of our ‘local’ celebrities from Bali Hai and Nusa Lembongan!