| Achong Tanjong |
TOURISTS visiting the Sultanate via cruise ships have increased, creating a boon for local freight travel agents, tour companies and related companies nationwide.
Another cruise ship, the ‘MV Sapphire Princess’ will dock at Muara Port today, carrying 2,819 passengers. The shipping agent, Jasra Harrisons Shipping & Agency Services Sdn Bhd, said the vessel is expected to arrive at 10am. An exchange of plaques between the Port officer and ship captain will also take place onboard the ship.
The ‘MV Sapphire Princess’ is travelling from Singapore and making a brief stop at Muara Port before heading to Nha Trang, Vietnam on the same day, as part of its journey to Southeast Asian countries.
During the brief stopover, passengers will be visiting several places of interest including the Water Village, Royal Regalia Building and mosques, among others. In the past five years, Muara Port has recorded an increase of cruise ships, passengers and crews. The highest number recorded to date was in 2010 when 34 vessels called at Muara Port with passengers totalling to 33,860 and 14,310 crews.
The statistics in 2013 revealed that 25 ships with 26,865 passengers and 16,351 crews docked at Muara Port compared to 19 ships with 19,913 passengers and 7,989 crews in 2012.
The Ports Department, Ministry of Communications lauded the services of these cruise lines in choosing Muara Port as their ports of call.
The department will continue working closely with the Brunei Tourism Board to conduct joint-marketing and promotions such as promotional materials, map, informational brochures and other works such as upgrading facilities and signage to attract more tourists globally. The Ports Department will also continue negotiating with cruise owners and shipping agents to urge more cruise vessels to make frequent calls at Muara Port without losing sights on the importance of maritime safety and security aspects.