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Kuching: Sarawak Tourism Board bid goodbye to 2010 and welcomed the New Year 2011 by welcoming two world-class cruise ships into Kuching.

Noble Caledonia Cruises, ‘Ms Clipper Odyssey’ from the UK sailed into Kuching on December 30th, 2010 whilst The Classic International Cruises, “The Princess Daphne” made the first arrival into Kuching this morning. Both cruises had arrived at the same location, the Sim Kheng Hong Port in Pending, Kuching at around 7:30am on the respective dates. They both were also given a rousing welcome by 10 members of the ‘Bala Kaban Cultural Group’ organized by Sarawak Tourism Board.

Miss Clipper Odyssey carried a total of 120 passengers whilst The Princess Daphne had 200 passengers on board. Upon disembarkation, the passengers were taken on various excursion trips into Kuching such as a visit to Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Anah Rais longhouse and City Tours.

Ms Clipper Odyssey was on its 18 days “Passage of the South China Sea” beginning 16 December 2010 until 2 January 2011. From London, the passengers flew to Bali, and from there cruised to Pulau Moyo, Sulawesi, Sandakan, Kota Kinabalu, Bandar Seri Begawan and finally Kuching. After disembarking in Kuching, the passengers flew to Kuala Lumpur to continue an optional tour in Melaka and Singapore for another three days before flying back to London. This cruise was actually the first arrival from the Noble Caledonia Cruises under their “Expedition Cruising” from Bali to Borneo crossing the Bali Sea, Flores Sea, Makassar Straits, Celebes Sea, Sulu Sea and South China Sea.

Noble Caledonia had recently been nominated the Best Cruise Line of the Year, Best Niche Cruise Line and the Best River Cruise Line by the British Travel Awards, the largest awards programme in the UK.

Apart from Ms Clipper Odyssey, 2010 saw five other cruise ships making their stops in the city initiated by local Tour Agencies and Sarawak Tourism Board. All the cruise liners are from Germany, Portugal and the UK.

The Princess Daphne on the other hand will continue sailing to Singapore on its 10 days “New Year Cruise”. This cruise departed Singapore for Vietnam, Brunei, Kuching and then back to Singapore. This is also its first trip to Kuching.

The excursion trips for Miss Clipper Odyssey passengers were managed by Journey Travel, the Kuching based tour operator whilst the excursions and transfers for the Princess Daphne passengers in Kuching were handled by CPH Travel Agencies and Exotic Borneo.

Sarawak Tourism Board is now looking forward to the arrival of the Seabourne Spirit, a 5 star cruise ship of the UK which offers a haven of sophisticated luxury accommodation on board, later this month and will continue its support in bringing more cruise ships to Sarawak in the near future.