DOWN MEMORY LANE WITH BORNEO BULLETIN ARCHIVES
|Compiled by Faruq Bostaman|
Short but sweet stay for Aussie tourist
SEPTEMBER 6, 2010 – More than 2,000 Australian tourists received a colourful welcome organised by the Tourism Board when their gigantic cruise ship the Sun Princess docked at Muara Port for several hours yesterday.
“This has got to be the best welcoming reception we have had so far in the journey. It’s really made the day,” said Lorraine Lindenberg, one of the ship’s passengers.
Touched by the warm reception, she said she may come again to Brunei for a longer stay. She was told that their brief stopover might be due to the possible closure of some attractions on their itinerary due to Ramadhan.
She said before arriving in Brunei, they had sailed to Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Hong Kong. They will be on their way home after stops in Kota Kinabalu and Bali. The tourists arrived at Muara Port at 8am and returned to the ship at 5pm in order to continue their voyage to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah at 7pm.
With such a large number of tourists coming at the same time and point, logistics in bringing them to the city for some sightseeing was a challenge and thus required an experienced tour operator, said Managing Director of Freme Travel Michael LP Lee.
The Bulletin saw several tour coaches brought in to ferry the tourists around.
Some of the tourists took a walk around Pekan Muara, while others decided to rent a car.
Others bought merchandise such as clothing at souvenir shops at the port.
According to the tourism officials, the Tourism Board provided this type of reception every time a cruise ship of the magnitude of the Sun Princess docked in Brunei in order to help promote the tourism industry.
The Australian tourists were welcomed with a beating of Hadrah and a performance of Gulingtangan. The tourists also received welcoming souvenirs.
Michael LP Lee said one of the itineraries offered to the tourists was the ‘Best of Brunei’ package (City, Village and Palace) which included the Mangrove Cruise, visit to Royal Regalia Museum and a buffet lunch at Radisson Hotel Brunei.
Or they could choose to follow the ‘Monkey and Mangrove Safari, and Brunei Museum Tour’ or the ‘Sights of the Sultan of Brunei and Royal Regalia Museum’.
The Sun Princess is a ‘Sun’ class cruise ship built in 1995 and operated by the Princess Cruises line.
Sun Princess is the lead ship of the Sun class, and at the time of her construction, was one of the largest cruise ships in the world.
Her sister ships are the Dawn Princess, Sea Princess and the former Ocean Princess. Since April 2008, Sun Princess is permanently based in Australia operating out of Sydney during winter and from Melbourne during summer.