Monday, May 18, 2009

Traveling with passenger ships to remote islands in Indonesia

by Charles Roring in Manokwari of West Papua - Indonesia


Travelling from one to another island in Indonesia is mostly done by passenger ships. There are around 18,000 islands in Indonesia. Therefore, ships play very important role as a means of sea transportation carrying millions of passengers and cargoes every year. In addition, besides having high demand in passenger and cargo ships, with high number of population, Indonesian also need a lot of fishing boats.



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For short distances small passenger ferries operated by both state and private owned companies offer affordable transportation service. For travelling in long distance, the government has provided many passenger ships which are operated by PELNI, a state owned shipping company.


Most of these passenger ships are constructed in Germany. Each can carry between 2,500 to 3,000 passengers. The interior of the ships has been designed to look more like a floating hotel than just a mere transport vehicle.


Foreign travelers who are interested in visiting exotic islands such as the Moluccan islands, after arriving in Ambon city - the capital of the province, can continue their trip by taking some fast boats. These high speed marine vehicles can travel with a speed of up to 30 knots. Depending on the type of the boats that you take, the time they need to arrive in such islands as Haruku, Seram and Saparua can range between 1 to 3 hours.


With high demand in ships, Indonesian ministry of education has opened the study program of naval architecture and marine engineering in four state owned universities. They are Pattimura University, Hasanuddin University, Surabaya Institute of Technology, and Diponegoro University. In addition, some private universities also have such study programs.


For the convenience, and safety of sea travel, people who work in the passenger ships must be the competent ones who have got certificates from maritime colleges. Also read: Travelling with Passenger Ships; Pilatus Porter, a suitable aircraft for travelling across mountainous region