| Achong Tanjong |
A CRUISE ship – Silver Wind, carrying a total of 234 passengers, all Americans, arrived in the Sultanate and docked at Muara Port at 8 am, yesterday.
The cruise ship was on a eleven-day cruise from Singapore to Bali, beginning from Singapore, Bintulu, Muara, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Pare-Pare, Makassar, Komodo and making its final stop in Benoa, Bali.
Jasra Harrisons Shipping & Agency Services Sdn Bhd brought the cruise ship. Another cruise ship – Crystal Cruise is expected to dock at Muara Port on January 12, carrying 890 passengers.
The cruise ship stayed for 10 hours in Brunei and departed on the same day in the evening at 6 pm yesterday for Kota Kinabalu.
Mohamad Fazilah bin Hj Md Yassin, Assistant Director of Ports, welcomed the maiden voyage. Senior officers from the Ports Department were also in attendance.
Exchange of souvenirs between the Director of Ports and the Captain, Macarone Palmieri Michele took place in the vessel.
Although the vessel is a medium-sized vessel to call at the Muara Port, it caters for the wealthiest passengers and only carries 234 passengers. Passengers are given ample time to visit the country’s surrounding places of interest.
According to the Ports Department, for the past five years, Muara Port has recorded an increase of cruise vessels, passengers and crews. The highest number recorded to date was in the year 2010, when 34 vessels called at Muara Port with passengers totalling to 33,860 and 14,310 crews (see table).
NUMBER OF CRUISE VESSELS, PASSENGERS AND CREW ARRIVALS AT MUARA PORT
Source: Ports Department Brunei Darussalam
The Ports Department, Ministry of Communications has lauded the services of these cruise lines for choosing Muara Port as one of their port of calls, resulting in the increase of the number of tourists visiting Brunei Darussalam.
This has created more business opportunities for the local freight travel agents, tour companies and other related businesses.
Ports Department will be working closely with the Brunei Tourism Board to conduct joint-marketing/promotion, among others, including issuing printed promotional materials, map, informational brochures and other works such as upgrading facilities and signage in order to attract more foreigners in the region and all around the world visiting Brunei Darussalam.
The Ports Department will also continue its effort in negotiating with cruise owners or 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.