2nd river cruise to sail in 2015

National 1 minute, 45 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

RESPONSE has been good to the MV Sentosa river cruise, despite being not yet fully operational, said a representative of Sha-Zan Marine Sdn Bhd yesterday.

Speaking to _The Brunei Times, _Hilman Abdullah said about 40 passengers go onboard on days the cruise boat is operating.

The two-hour sunset river cruise down the Brunei River allows passengers to view local attractions such as Kampong Ayer, Istana Nurul Iman and Jong Batu. It departs at 7pm from the Queen Elizabeth jetty in the capital on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Hilman also shared that the company was aiming for the cruise to be fully operational by mid-January, running seven days a week, three times a day.

“In this regard, the relevant government agencies such as the Tourism Board have been very supportive in helping to promote the ongoing cruise services,” he said.

The representative also shared that there are plans to add another boat to the service soon, to support the tight schedule when the cruise becomes fully operational.

“This is to support the ‘downtime’ and maintenance of the existing boat, to let it rest while the other boat makes some of the river cruise journeys,” Hilman explained.

Hilman observed that the river cruise passengers would be a mix of local and foreign tourists, and that local passengers often brought their families or foreign visitors onboard with them.

“At the moment, we are accepting mostly customers who make pre-bookings. However, we do need a minimum of 20 passengers for a voyage, so sometimes we accept walk-in customers when we do not hit the minimum,” he explained.

According to Hilman, all customers had to leave their names and numbers with the company, so that passengers (who pre-booked) could be notified if the river cruise was cancelled due to lack of passengers while potential passengers and walk-in customers could be notified to come aboard the ship that day.

He said that passengers currently paid $40 each for the cruise, and they had the option to purchase available snacks onboard the MV Sentosa during the journey.

The MV Sentosa river cruise was launched on November 16.

The Brunei Times