Full circle: the last voyage of the legendary Tall Ship Dewaruci completed

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THE MADURA PIER AT KOARMATIM, Komando Armada RI Kawasan Timur, Indonesia – The Indonesia Navy Eastern Fleet Command Base in Surabaya, capital of East Java, was witness of the completion of the last gr

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THE MADURA PIER AT KOARMATIM, Komando Armada RI Kawasan Timur, Indonesia – The Indonesia Navy Eastern Fleet Command Base in Surabaya, capital of East Java, was witness of the completion of the last grand voyage made by the Tall Ship Dewaruci.

It was from this pier that the legendary navy training ship set sail on January 15, 2012, and it was on the morning of October 17, 2012 that the Dewaruci finally docked at her homeport having successfully completed the quest to circumnavigate the world, at the same time accomplishing her mission to promote the many splendors of Indonesia’s tourism.

The song “Surabaya, Kota Kenangan” – Surabaya, the city of memories – chanted endlessly by fellow officers, family members of cadets and crew, as well as by the general public as Dewaruci sailed into view. A grand spectacle of “sailing pass” not only involved jet skiers, but also a number of military patrol boats and her sister sailing ship Arung Samudra accompanying Dewaruci as she approached the pier. As gallantly as ever, cadets stood on each level of all the masts and on the bow, while others stood at the ready on deck.

While along her entire journey, cadets and crew of Dewaruci entertained the public at cities visited with cultural performances, this time around, on this home welcoming fiesta, a captivating Javanese traditional dance drama depicting the tale of Dewaruci (from whom the ship received its name) greeted them at the dock.

Dewaruci is part of the Mahabharata Saga that tells the tale of Werkudara or Bima who was sent on a mission to retrieve the holy water from the deepest part of the ocean. After a series of obstacles, including fighting beasts and dragons, Bima eventually met the god Dewaruci who was, in fact, his own true soul. The inspiration of the story became the philosophy of the Tall Ship Dewaruci which illustrates that one must embark on a voyage to discover one’s true soul. Following this dance drama, a vibrant contemporary color guard dance carrying wonderful Indonesia flags was performed.

The welcome party of Dewaruci at the Pier in Surabaya comprised Deputy Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sapta Nirwandar, Deputy Navy Staff Chief Admiral Marsetio, Navy Commander of the Eastern Fleet Command Admiral Agung Pramono, Director of International Promotion of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Nia Niscaya, Navy officials, and other distinguished guests.

The Commander of Dewaruci, Navy Lieutenant Colonel Haris Bima Bayusetia, reported that the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy truly supported the 44th voyage of the tall ship Dewaruci with funding providing tourism promotion materials, as well as with good communications from the Ministry with Indonesian embassies and consulate generals in the cities visited, which truly supported the ship’s mission.

In response, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sapta Nirwandar, added that the cooperation between the ministry and the navy will be further expanded. “One of the main highlights of Indonesia’s tourism is our fantastic marine tourism attractions, while marine tourism needs the support and close cooperation of the navy,” stated Sapta Nirwandar.

During her voyage and at many ports of call around the world, the Dewaruci invariably received outstanding appreciation. Commander Haris Bima Bayusetia stated that the crowds visiting the ship in a single city in one day could reach to as large as 15,000 people, confirming the high interest of the international world in Indonesia’s natural and cultural splendors.

As the ship has now reached 60 years of age, and new training ships are being prepared to take over her role, the Tall Ship Dewaruci can claim that she was not only a training ship for young cadets, but she has also successfully played her part in introducing the wonders of Indonesia to the rest of the world in a most spectacular style.

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.