Star Cruises, a cruise line centered in Hong Kong, has interested to open a new route that stop in Surabaya. According to Sammy Chan, Assistant Vice President Business Development of Star Cruises, the cruisers which may enter Surabaya are SuperStar Virgo (1,870 passengers capacity), SuperStar Libra (1,480 passengers capacity), SuperStar Aquarius (1,529 passengers capacity), and Star Pisces (1,287 passengers capacity). Certainly it’s a significant number for Surabaya tourism.
In 2006, the Hong Kong tourists in Surabaya numbered 2,969. Then in 2007, it increased to 4,613. In 2008, “We estimate it’ll reach 6,500. If by this year, there’s cruise ship stop in Surabaya, even just one, the target will easily accomplished,” said Yusak Anshori, Executive Director STPB (Surabaya Tourism Promotion Board), as Antara quoted.
Assistant Vice President Port Operations & Embarkation Star Cruises, Yong Peng Wai, added that Star Cruises will mix several ports in Indonesia as one of their tourism destinations. Places aimed are Seribu Island, Semarang, Surabaya, Bali, Lombok, and the islands of Komodo (one of the World Heritages in Indonesia), during about two weeks of luxurious voyage.
Formerly, Darwin Ports, Australia, also had a plan to put Indonesia into its cruise route. Yes indeed, cruising has become a major part of the world tourism industry, with millions of passengers each year. In Indonesia itself it has started to flourish.
Enjoying the vista of ocean from the deck seems to be such a new pleasure for the rich. The costumers are from individual adventurers, families, to corporations which need to organize some gathering program or merely amusement agenda for the employees on the cruiser.
Timotius was a different story. This young export-import businessman had been rent a cruise ship for his wedding. Hence, with the invited guests and the bride, for full four hours, Timotius sailed on waters all along Jakarta shore.
There are many Indonesian cruise services like what made use by Timotius. You can be a simply passenger, or rent it. Sea Safari Cruises, for instance. They have six cruisers to rent out, but only for sail around Jakarta and Bali. For cruising one day long, they charge 14 million to 8 billion rupiahs. But don’t imagine a super luxurious cruise with capacity of thousands passengers. The cruise we’re talking about is the small and medium range ones.
If the amenities and extravagance of the national class cruiser doesn’t make you enthusiast, you may try the international class ships. And cruise further; Asia-Pasific, Carribean, Mediterranean, European, even pole cruise (for certain destinations like Arctic and Antarctica, cruise ships are very nearly the only way to visit). If so, you might need a cruise specialist to ensure you get the cruise that meets your needs and expectations, with the cheapest cost. The Cruise Vacation Center, for example.
Because it can be quiet confusing. Regarding in the competition for passengers, each cruise lines have added many facilities. Something like fine dining, theatre, deluxe staterooms, ice rink and rock climbing wall (on Royal Caribbean’s Voyager-class ships). And other cruise lines have started to follow and came up with bowling alleys, water works, open-air supper clubs, and so on. Of course they do. A cruise ship is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, so the voyage itself and the ship’s amenities are part of the experience.
At present, hundreds of cruise ships ply routes worldwide. Some is carrying over 3,000 passengers and measuring over 120,000 gross tons. And they said, the cruising trend will grow more rapidly in 2009. There will be more exotic places to reach by international cruisers, including Indonesia. [photos from Ship Parade]