The Jakarta Post
Sunset on Bintan Island, which is seen as a potential destination for cruise ships in the future. (Shutterstock/Heru Sukma Cahyanto)
The Genting Dream Cruise ship arrived in Bintan, Riau, on Saturday.
The Tourism Ministry noted that the ship was carrying 4,000 passengers from various countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, China, India and Australia. Around 2,000 of them visited the island. They were welcomed by a Malay traditional dance called sekapur sirih and given a tanjak (headpiece).
This was also Genting Dream Cruise’s debut in Bintan. The ship’s presence reportedly generated attention from locals at Bandar Bentan Telani Port. The ministry’s maritime tourist industry development acceleration task force chairman, Indroyono Soesilo, said four ferries with a capacity of 240 passengers fetched the tourists at the ship.
“This is a big moment for Bintan because the cruise ship has finally come,” Indroyono told tempo.co, adding that its arrival had provided a boost to the island’s tourist industry.
Read also: Bintan airport expected to operate by 2020
Dream Cruises president Thatcher Brown said Bintan was considered a priority location for the cruise. The ship uses 10 regular routes, including Thailand, Surabaya in East Java, Celukan Bawang in Bali, Hong Kong and Okinawa in Japan.
Brown said Bintan had potential as a cruise destination. He expected the island to become one of the ultimate destinations for cruise ships with its many tourist attractions.
Meanwhile, Bintan Tourism Agency head Luki Zaiman Prawira said the cruise’s passengers would receive the best service. “There will be 30 buses for transportation, with a capacity of 25 people each,” Luki said.
The destinations in Bintan were divided into two packages; the area within and outside Bintan Resorts. Among places to visit inside the Bintan Resorts are Lagoi Bay, Safari Lagoi and Treasure Bay Bintan. Meanwhile, tourists could travel farther to Tanjung Uban, Gunung Bintan, Penyengat Island and Trikora, which are located outside the resorts. There is also a potential destination, Coral Kepulauan Riau, which can be reached by ferry. (wir/wng)