Wednesday, December 27, 2017


Jakarta, Dec 27, 2017 (Antara)- Surabaya, the East Java's capital and the second-largest city of Indonesia, offers a blend of both religious and historical tourism attractions, as the metropolitan city was an important Dutch Indies port town since the 16th century.
         The coastal city has a large modern port of Tanjuk Perak and a traditional harbor of Kali Mas, which are both located in North Surabaya. As a result, the city has a multiethnic population, with Javanese as the majority and others, including people of Madurese, Chinese, Arab, and Indian descents.
         Its old city area is located in North Surabaya, specifically around the Red Bridge (Jembatan Merah), where one can find several of the best historical buildings, including structures with colonial Dutch architecture and Chinese temples.
          The most striking landmark in Surabaya's old city area is the 15th-century Ampel Mosque (Mesjid Ampel), which stands within the vibrant Arab quarter.
         This year, a total of 24 million tourists, with 40 percent of them being foreign tourists, visited Surabaya, which is dubbed as the City of Heroes because of its brave citizens who fought against Dutch and Japanese colonialists in the past. Many of the tourists used sea transportations.
         State-run seaport operator Pelinda III has expressed its support to the Tourism Ministry in the efforts to lure more cruise ships to dock at Tanjung Perak Seaport.       
    The Indonesian Tourism Ministry has invited the Genting Dream cruise ship to serve new routes from Singapore to Tanjung Perak in Surabaya and later to the Celukan Bawang seaport in North Bali.
         Dream Cruises, comprising Genting Dream and World Dream, is Asia's luxury cruise line that aims to redefine vacation travel with a transformational journey at sea.

        On Dec 26, some 1.7 thousand foreign tourists arrived at the Tanjung Perak Seaport aboard the Genting Dream cruise ship. They included tourists from Malaysia, Japan, China, Singapore, and Europe.
         Actually, the large cruise ship had a total of 4.3 thousand passengers on board, but only 1.7 thousand tourists disembarked to visit Surabaya.    
   The visit to Surabaya was the second time for Genting Dream, with the first one being on Dec 12, 2017, with 2,561 tourists on board.
         Owned by the Genting Hong Kong Limited, Genting Dream is reportedly the largest cruise ship in the world. The cruise ship is 335 meters long and has 18 floors, reaching 40 meters high.
        The Hong Kong-flagged cruise ship arrived at the seaport at 7 a.m. local time, Aji Joko Wibowo, the assistant manager of the Passengers' Terminal and Roll-on Roll-Off of the state-run seaport operator PT Pelindo III's Tanjung Perak Chapter, noted.
         Setting sail from Singapore, the cruise remained in Surabaya until 5 p.m. local time and later headed to the Celukan Bawang Seaport, Buleleng, Bali.
         Earlier, Ari Askhara, the Pelindo III CEO, remarked that various facilities were prepared for welcoming the cruise ship.
         Pelindo III has provided transportation facilities to the passengers of the cruise ship to explore Surabaya.
          The super-large cruise ship measures more than 335 meters in length, or is longer than the Gapura Surya Nusantara terminal building at the Tanjung Perak seaport. It has a capacity to carry four thousand tourists and two thousand crew members.
          The Surabaya administration welcomed the tourists with traditional art performances, featuring Reog Ponorogo and Sparkling Surabaya dance, among others.
        PT Pelindo III and the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA) assisted the tourists while touring Surabaya and other neighboring districts, such as Mojokerto.
         "The farthest spot that we are offering is located in the Trowulan archeological site in Mojokerto District, East Java," Aji Joko Wibowo noted.
         Established as the capital of the Majapahit Kingdom during the 1293-1478 Period, Trowulan has 10 thousand preserved artifacts, ceramics, and ancient tombs of the empire.
        "We have distributed the map of Surabaya and the other neighboring cities to the tourists, so that they are free to visit any tourist attractions using all modes of transportation that are provided," he stressed.
        Indonesia is fast becoming one of the most lucrative markets for the cruise tourism industry. In April 2017, a Pacific Eden cruise ship, carrying more than one thousand passengers docked at Bali's Benoa Port. The 220-meter-long vessel departed from Fremantle Port, Australia, and headed to the popular resort island before making stops at other tourist destinations in the archipelago, such as Lombok and the Komodo Islands.
         The development of the Benoa cruise terminal is expected to boost the number of tourist arrivals by cruise ships to 500 thousand by 2019.

(T.F001/A/BESSR/A. Abdussalam) 28-12-2017

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