MV Sentosa sees jump in passengers

National 1 minute, 48 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE MV Sentosa double-deck cruise ship reported a surge in passengers during the holiday season last week with more than 400 people cruising along the Brunei River in four days.

Daniel Hilman, operations manager at Sha-Zan Marine Sdn Bhd, which owns the vessel, said the ship increased the number of trips for the month of December due to popular demand.

The cruise ship made four or five trips weekly to cater to the 1,800 passengers over the month-long school holidays in December, he said.

The increased trips also meant the cruise ship had to operate on weekdays in addition to its normal weekend services.

“There was quite an increase for the month of December, especially towards the end. This was mainly due to the year-end holidays combined with the increase of scheduled trips for the month,” he said.

“Since the new year until (Sunday), there have been roughly 400 guests, including private chartered guests. This is most likely due to the last few days of the holidays,” he said, adding that there were more local passengers than foreign tourists.

The vessel is able to cater to 60 guests for a trip from the Queen Elizabeth Jetty II along Jalan Kota Batu heading towards the Bandar Seri Begawan Royal Wharf before making a turn at Jong Batu to return to the jetty.

In previous months, the river cruise saw about 800 passengers per month, as it only operated on weekends.

Hilman said after students and workers return to school and work yesterday, the river cruise will continue to attract local and foreign tourists.

Sha-Zan Marine Sdn Bhd plans to increase the services from two to three trips weekly - beginning at 3pm on Fridays and 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

The cruise ship has also changed its prices for the senior citizens who are aged 60 and over, from the previous $29 to $19.

“Guests are now able to have a family gathering or a corporate event with meals on board, it is a very unique experience itself.

“We plan to introduce more new products throughout this year to provide our customers with more options, and hopefully, an even better river cruising experience,” he added.

The Brunei Times