Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Passenger ship from Geelvink Bay

When I was going with Dr. Jaroslav Bacovsky and his friends from Czech republic from Manokwari city to Numfor island, I saw a fast passenger ship at the harbor. Her name is Fajar Indah. Her outside appearance may look like a luxurious cruise ship or yacht. It is totally different from Oasis of the Seas. As a matter of fact most of its compartments are for economic class. The ship goes from Manokwari to Wasior, Serui, Biak, and Nabire. These are small coastal towns in the Geelvink bay of New Guinea island. The passenger ship Fajar Indah II has got three decks allocated for people. I did not go into the ship to see the interior of the vessel but from the outside appearance, I could tell that this ship can carry hundreds of people on board. I walked closer to the ship to see the passenger compartments from her windows. The vessel has rows of economy class beds that are arranged in rows from the front to the back area of the hull.

Because she is a fast ship, she has a slim hull meaning that her block coefficient is small. In addition to smaller block coefficient, when I check the thickness of the shell of her upper hull, I found out that it was only around 10 milimeters or perhaps less. Shipbuilders tend to build fast ships whose hulls are constructed of aluminum materials. Because aluminum is more expensive than stainless still, the price of such vessel will be more expensive. So, it is not surprising to see that the ticket price of this passenger ship is four times higher than her competitor KMP Kasuari Pasifik IV - a ferry boat that travels from Manokwari to Numfor and Biak.
The waters along the northern coast of West Papua are also served by modern passenger ships operated by PELNI, a state owned passenger lines company. Ships such as MV. Dobonsolo and KM Nggapulu that were built by German shipyard. The existance of these big ships do not threaten the market share of small passenger ships that operate in the Geelvink bay of West Papua. Passenger vessels such as Fajar Indah II, KMP Kasuari Pasifik IV and KM Papua Baru have different port of calls that cannot be entered by Pelni ships.
The passenger ships in Geelvink bay of West Papua may be much smaller than RMS Titanic but their functions as important major links that connect towns and villages in the area cannot be ignored. We have to ensure that the safety of passengers is properly addressed and sea accident such as what the Titanic experienced in the Atlantic Ocean must not happen again in the Papuan waters. 
In recent years, smaller airlines operated by Susi Air have entered small towns in coastal and mountainous region of West Papua. Because the carrying capacity of the airplanes is small, i.e. less than 15 passengers, they do not pose serious threat to the economic survivability of these passenger vessels. Charles Roring
Also read
Passenger ship Yap Wairon
Oasis of the Seas