KUCHING: Sarawak is expected to receive eight confirmed cruise ships due to arrive this year with a few more pending confirmation from the cruise operators.
Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) regional manager for UK and Europe, Maurice Balang said with the cruise industry currently on the rise, there has been a demand in this industry despite the lack of proper cruise terminals in the state.
According to a press statement, the total visitor arrivals to the state had increased by 23 per cent with a total of 4.3 million tourist arrivals as of Nov 30 last year compared to the same period in the previous year.
“We will continue our efforts in promoting Sarawak as a place where adventure lives,” he said when welcoming passengers aboard the Silverwind Monaco which sailed into Sarawak and docked at Bintulu Port yesterday.
The Silverwind Monaco is the first cruise ship to arrive in Sarawak this year.
The cruise ship was on its 11-day cruise from Singapore to Bali beginning from Singapore, then Bintulu, Muara, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Pare-Pare, Makassar, Komodo and finally making its final stop in Benoa, Bali.
It brought along a total of 260 passengers and 220 crew members, who were all Americans.
During its arrival in Bintulu, the passengers were given a traditional welcome by locals dressed in Sarawak traditional costumes, courtesy of STB.
While in Sarawak, the passengers will explore Bintulu for various excursion trips such as visiting Similajau National Park, Niah National Park as well as touring Bintulu City.