Travellers who regularly cross the waters between Bintan in Indonesia and Singapore can expect a smoother and quicker ride as two new ferries have been deployed into service.
The vessels Wan Seri Beni and Wan Sendari, named after two beloved queens of the Malay Srivijaya history, travel at over 37 knots and reduce time to destination by 25 percent from an hour to 45 minutes.
Ferry operator Bintan Resort Ferry (BRF) commissioned Dutch shipmaker Damien Shipyards Gorinchem to build both vessels at S$31 million (US$21.2 million). The vessels are fitted with the latest wave interceptor hardware that reduces excessive rocking during choppy waters.
Travellers looking for more comfort have the option of booking on the vessels’ Emerald Class on the upper deck, which takes up 57 of the 300-seat capacity. In addition to wider seats and generous legroom, other Emerald Class perks include a dedicated counter for collection of boarding passes, express immigration clearance, priority boarding and a free-flow of complimentary drinks. Return fare costs S$63.20 (US$43) – S$36 (US$25) more than return economy tickets.
BRF executives said the new ferries are deployed to support ongoing tourism initiatives on Bintan island such as the Lagoi Bay Development that covers a reservoir park, new dining and recreation outlets as well as a resort centre.
With the additional ferries on the fleet, BRF expects an 11 percent increase in passenger traffic between Bintan and Singapore from 360,000 in 2008 to 400,000 by year-end.