Catamaran relaunch hailed

Abang Johari (third from left) cutting a ribbon to mark the relaunch of Sayang Sarawak catamaran in Kuching.

KUCHING: The relaunching of the Sayang Sarawak catamaran is set to make a splash in the city’s river cruise scene.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said his ministry would go all out to promote tourism along the Sarawak River beginning January next year, with the catamaran and the S Bridge providing added value to the products.

“The Sayang Sarawak catamaran, following its recent makeover, is now designed with distinctive elements from our rainforests such as the famed orang utan, rafflesia and the Sarawak flag colours.

“The catamaran is one of the products that will promote river cruise in Sarawak, particularly the city,” Abang Johari, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said at the Sayang Sarawak catamaran relaunch ceremony here.

He added that the catamaran would be able to travel underneath the S Bridge that crossed Sungai Sarawak at the Kuching Waterfront here, which he hoped would be completed next year.

Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) chief executive officer Eric van Piggelen said the company was delighted to partner with the Tourism Ministry to bring a niche product to the business tourism market.

The Sayang Sarawak will be able to offer cruise-style meeting and event services.

“We launched this niche segment in January this year as we envisaged how this would enrich the delegate’s experience with a cruise along the Sarawak River,” van Piggelen said in his welcoming speech.

He added that a floating BBQ restaurant would be launched on the Sayang Sarawak in January next year.

The floating restaurant will operate at the Kuching Waterfront, serving international and local cuisines for up to 50 persons daily except Mondays.

The deck will feature a cocktail sunset bar, where patrons can enjoy a wide selection of beverages before proceeding to the cabin for dinner.

The Sayang Sarawak will be open for personal, group and corporate bookings.

At the event, van Piggelen presented the MICE Asia-Pacific Conference Venue of the Year 2016 Award to Abang Johari as a symbol of acknowlegdement for the achievement.

BCCK clinched the award at the second annual MICE Asia Awards held in Singapore. The event looked to honour companies playing a defining role in events and travel industry in the Asia-Pacific region.

More than 80 companies participated in the 13 awards nominated this year.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry permanent secretary Datuk Ik Pahon Joyik was also present.

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