| Achong Tanjong |
MORE cruise ships are scheduled to arrive in Brunei this year and next year – brought by local shipping agent Jasra Harrisons Shipping & Agency Services Sdn Bhd.
The first cruise ship expected to arrive in the country is Pacific Princess on February 28 followed by MV Sapphire Princess on March 2, MS Insignia on April 28, MV Pacific Jewel on May 18 and MS Silver Shadow on November 13.
The fleet of cruise ships will continue to arrive next year with the MV Sapphire Princess on January 10, MV Pacific Princess on February 25, Sapphire Princess on February 26, MS Silver Shadow on February 29, MC Queen Victoria on March 24 and MS Seven Seas Voyager on April 7.
For the past five years, Muara Port has recorded an increase in the number of arrivals for cruise vessels, passengers and crews.
The highest number recorded to date was in 2010, where 34 vessels called at Muara Port with passengers totaling up to 33,860 and 14,310 crews.
Between January and February 2014 alone, the Ports Department has recorded 17 cruise ships calls with the arrival of 8,246 passengers and 10,691 crews.
The Ports Department, Ministry of Communications lauded the services of these cruise lines in choosing Muara Port to be one of their port of calls, resulting in the increase of the number of tourists visiting Brunei Darussalam.
This has created more business opportunities to the local freight travel agents, tour companies and other related businesses.
The Ports Department will continuously be working closely with the Brunei Tourism Board to conduct joint-marketing and promotion, among others, including issuing printed promotional materials, maps, informational brochures and other works such as upgrading facilities and signages.
This is to attract more foreigners in the region and all around the world to visit Brunei Darussalam.
The Ports Department will also continue its effort in negotiating with cruise owners and shipping agents to attract more cruise vessels to make frequent calls at Muara Port without losing sight on the importance of maritime safety and security aspects.