Saturday, October 19, 2013

MV Orion II arrival in Kuching marks another bustling cruise season

KUCHING: The arrival of MV Orion II in Kuching yesterday morning marks another busy season for Orion Expedition Cruises, Australia.

According to a press release from the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB), the cruise ship arrived at the Sim Kheng Hong Port here at around 6.30am.

This is the first arrival for MV Orion II this season but the fifth cruise ship arrival to Sarawak shores this year in what promises to be another positive season for local businesses and tourism operators.

Sarawak recorded 15 cruise ship arrivals up to October this year compared to 14 cruises for the whole of 2012.

Kuching has been the main port of call for MV Orion II on its 10-night cruise departing Bali, Tanjung Putting National Park, Bako National Park, Natuna Archipelago, Anambas Archipelago and Singapore.

Upon their arrival, passengers onboard were welcomed with traditional dances and garlanded in typical Sarawak style by 10 members of a cultural troupe courtesy of STB.

While in Kuching, cruise passengers will visit Semenggoh Wildlife Centre and the city attractions.

They will also celebrate with a theme party to be held at Sarawak Cultural Village in Damai.

“Cruising is popular among Australian, American and many European tourists. Although we lack a proper cruise terminal, we are still able to welcome thousands of cruise ship passengers who are attracted by what the destination has to offer,” said STB Marketing Manager (Europe and International Market) Maurice Balang in the statement.

MV Orion II is an Australian-based luxury expedition cruise line formed in 2004 and is the leading expedition cruise operator in Asia Pacific.