On Sunday, January 15, the majestic Navy Training tall ship, “Dewaruci” was sent off on a nine-month round the world circumnavigation from Surabaya, East Java, by Navy Chief of Staff, Admiral Soeparno, and Deputy Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, Sapta Nirwandar.
Sailing around the world in 277 days, the ship will cross the Pacific to the United States, join “Operation Sail 2012,” calling on a total 21 American, European, African, and Asian ports to finally return to its base on October 16, 2012.
The journey has three missions, said Admiral Soeparno. Besides serving as a training vessel for cadets to practice astronomical navigation, the ship will also join Operation Sail 2012 in the USA. Moreover, throughout this journey the ship and crew will promote “Wonderful Indonesia” through cultural performances, parades, and meet the locals.
Earlier, Deputy Minister Sapta Nirwandar signed an MOU with the Indonesian Navy represented by Admiral Soeparno at the Surabya Naval Base.
“This particular operation is extraordinary in the sense that it is longer than any other voyages in the past by the same vessel. Tourism brings significant contribution to the national economy, and as large archipelago, marine based tourism promotion is an important key to Indonesia’s more successful future in tourism,” said Sapta Nirwandar.
The Dewaruci, a class A barquentine made by H.C. Stolcken Soch, Germany, in 1953, is the only tall mast ship owned and operated by the Indonesian Navy, serving as a training vessel for cadets to master navigational skills, especially astronomical sail and advanced Navy operational mastery of the sea, such as national defense and open sea battle.
“Wonderful Astronomical Sail 2012” is proud to once again sail the seas and build awareness of our wonderful nation,” said Admiral Soeparno before fellow admirals and most importantly the ship’s crew, giving full support to national tourism.
At ports of call, Dewaruci will set up Open Ship, offering a rare opportunity for locals to step aboard and observe this legendary ship. There will also be a cocktail party with fans and visitors of the vessel. A visit to Naval bases in each country is also scheduled as the crew is to perform marching bands and Indonesian traditional art performances, such as the Reog Ponorogo, Rampak Kendang, and other traditional dances.
“We are proud to introduce the legendary Dewaruci and some of Indonesia’s cultural attractions to global communities. We work together with the navy to strengthen the good image of our nation and build awareness of our national tourism brand, Wonderful Indonesia,” added Sapta in a short meeting with the local media.
Dewaruci’s highest masts are 35.87 m. and 32.5 m. tall. The ship is 56.3 meters long, and 9.5 meters wide, weighing 874 DWT.
Dewaruci’s voyage sails from Surabaya – Jayapura, Jayapura – Kwajelein (USA), Kwajelein– Honolulu (USA), Honolulu – San Diego (USA), San Diego – Manzanillo (Mexico),Manzanilli – Panama, Panama – New Orleans (USA), New Orleans – Miami (USA),Miami – Charleston (USA), Charleston – New York (USA), New York – Norfolk(USA), Norfolk – Baltimore (USA), Baltimore – Boston (USA), Boston – St. John(Canada), St. John – Porto (Portugal), Porto – Cadiz (Spain), Cadiz – Malta, Malta –Port Said (Egypt), Port Said – Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Jeddah – Salalah (Oman), Salalah– Colombo (Srilanka), Colombo – Belawan (Indonesia), Belawan – Džakarta, and Jakarta –Surabaya.