Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cruise ship and passenger ship

Cruise and passenger ships are ships that transport people from one port to another. Although these ships look similar, they have different purposes. Cruise ships usually emphasize their services on cruising experience for passengers aboard with various facilities such as restaurants, movies, sun-deck, swimming pool, sport centers, message and spa rooms. Cruise ships, to some extent are the same as hotels. In other words, cruise ships are floating hotels for sea or ocean travelers. Therefore, many cruise ships sell round-trip tickets and have voyages that are longer than passenger ships.

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Between 1800s and early 1900s, passenger ships are transport oriented ocean liners that bring passengers and goods from European ports to American ports. Millions of migrants moved from Europe to America using passenger ships. One of them is the unfortunate RMS Titanic. During that time, the faster the voyage the better the service of the ships and the higher would be the profits they could get due to the reduced operational cost for every trip.


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Indonesia's state owned shipping line, PELNI, operate dozens of German made passenger ships to serve the ever growing Indonesian passengers. Indonesia has more than 17,000 island which makes it as the largest archipelago in the world.

With the advent of large passenger airplanes in 1960s, travelers switched from ships to airplanes. For transatlantic service, the passenger ships ceased their operation in 1986 whereas in many other parts of the world such as in Mediteranean Sea, the Indonesian islands, the Philipine islands, and the Pacific islands, passenger ships still play very significant role in transporting people and goods. Indonesian government, through its state owned passenger liner - PELNI, has even bought more passenger ships from Germany to meet the increasing number of people moving from one island to another. For smaller islands where the number of population is small, PELNI operates smaller passenger ships which are constructed by local shipbuilders such as PT PAL. It is the largest state-owned shipbuilding company operating from Indonesian Naval Base in Surabaya city.


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Passengers and porters in Manokwari of Papua were waiting for the just arrived Indonesia's PELNI's passenger ship, MV Nggapulu. The ship can carry 3,000 passengers. The ship was built in Germany.
As the largest archipelago in the world with tens of thousands of big and small islandss, Indonesia will constantly need a lot of ships and boats to support the mobility of its people and economic activities of the country. It is not surprising to see that every new year more passenger ships are needed in this country to serve the increasing number of population. The potential market for passenger ships and RORO or ferries in Indonesia is huge compared to cruise ships due to the purchasing power parity of the people. The same situation may also be seen in the Philipines where people need more passenger ships than cruise ships. Yet both countries have potential market for cruise ships operation especially for middle to upper class citizens.

While the market for cruise ship in Asia is still small, the market for North America and Europe is still growing but with high competition. Cruise ships operators such as Holland America lines, Royal Carribean International, and Carnival Cruise Lines are launching new ships to meet the increasing number of tourists who prefer to spend their precious time on various recreational activities both on board of these luxurious floating hotels or on exotic resorts in private islands of the Carribean sea.

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With the improving economic growth in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philipines and other ASEAN countries, the potential market for cruise ships in this region will attract cruise line operators to invest billions of US dollars and Euros in building new cruise ships. It is now a matter of time for us to see hundreds of luxurious passenger liners and cruise ships operating along the seas of South East Asia. To realize this economic and business potentials, Governments of ASEAN countries need to be approached by investors to open their market for the development of ocean tourism and traveling industry through a number of deregulation in tourism sectors of the region. by Charles Roring Also read: Stability of Cruise Ship and The effect of turbulence on propeller and safety of cruise ship