Penang, 19 March 2021 – Genting Cruise Lines and Penang Port Sdn. Bhd (PPSB) is pleased to announce its plans to restart cruises in Penang with Star Cruises, offering Langkawi itineraries beginning May 13, 2021 at the start of the Hari Raya Aidilfitri Holidays on Star Cruises’ 40,053 tonnage Star Pisces cruise ship, which can accommodate up to 1,600 passengers.
The proposed Langkawi cruises will comprise of 2-Night “Langkawi Escape” and a series of 1-night “Straits of Malacca” Cruises. Star Pisces will become the first ship to resume sailings in Malaysia and one of the few in the world, contributing to the growth of tourism in Penang and Pulau Langkawi.
“Like all Malaysians, we have been eagerly looking forward to another vacation alternative during this period when overseas travel is not permitted,” said Cynthia Lee, VP for Genting Cruise Lines in Malaysia. “The new Langkawi itineraries will provide Malaysians the opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of cruising again and will bring much-needed benefits to the local workforce, airlines, restaurants, retailers and hotels for pre- and post-cruise stays in Penang and Langkawi.”
“The cruise services have always been the cornerstone in Penang, and what gave Penang its distinctiveness. With the persistent issue of the COVID-19 pandemic that has curbed domestic tourism, supporting the Genting Cruise Lines on ensuring safe and comfortable cruise trips is important to jumpstart the local cruise sector. As such, we will work closely with Genting Cruise Lines to relaunch the cruise trips with safety in mind and without sacrificing safety and quality,” Said Dato’ Sasedharan Vasudevan, CEO of Penang Port Sdn. Bhd. “We hope with this synergy we can witness higher standards of quality for the cruise services sector and revitalise the domestic tourism industry.”
Importantly, the resumption of cruises will revitalize the ailing travel agent sector which has been adversely affected by the pandemic and provide employment opportunities for more citizens.
Cruise resumption will benefit the whole value chain related to goods, services and materials associated with cruise operations, which Genting Cruise Lines has been advocating as part of its guiding principle in rebuilding the cruise economy for each of the homeports where cruise operations can re-start.
The Thrill of Traveling Returns
Malaysian guests will be able to enjoy a brand-new vacation option that will take the regular “staycation” concept and turn it into a “Super Seacation” experience to take advantage of the invigorating sea air and sunshine. These new “Super Seacations” will combine the multitude of dining, leisure
and recreation facilities on board the ship with engaging experiences that will keep guests of all ages entertained throughout their journey. Initially operating at a reduced capacity, all activities on board will be organized in accordance with permitted group sizes – specific to each activity – in line
with the prevailing national policy, and measures will be in place to discourage close contact between groups.
Star Pisces’ new itineraries will highlight the breathtaking beauty of Langkawi. Known as the Jewel of Kedah, Langkawi is famed for its alluring and idyllic natural beauty and its majestic and spectacular cultural heritage. The two night “Langkawi Escape Cruise” departs Penang every Friday and Sunday and passengers can have 10 hours of port time to explore Langkawi. The one night “Straits of Malacca Cruise” will depart every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and passengers will be able to see all types of marine vessels in Straits of Malacca, which is the busiest straits in the world.
Departing from Penang, a world renowned exotic holiday destination and listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2008, this homeport also boasts its own array of cultural sights and natural scenery. Nicknamed the Pearl of the Orient, Penang is famous for its soft sandy beaches and is popularly regarded as the food capital of Malaysia.
Comprehensive Health and Safety Measures
Genting Cruise Lines is the number one choice for cruise safety and peace of mind with its pioneering efforts in establishing enhanced preventive measures, setting new standards for its ships and for the cruise industry.
The company was the first cruise line to resume service in Asia and Genting Cruise Line’s track record has been exemplary, having successfully completed about nine months of incident-free operations in Taiwan with Dream Cruises’ Explorer Dream, and about five months in Singapore with
World Dream, welcoming more than 150,000 guests on board so far. Also recently announced, with her new Bahamas Escapes cruises from 3 July, Crystal Serenity will become the first ship to homeport in The Bahamas, as well as the first ocean ship to sail from the Americas since the cruise industry’s voluntary halt in operations almost a year ago. Penang will be the fifth homeport for Genting Cruise Line’s fleet, after Taiwan, Singapore, Nassau and Bimini in the Bahamas.
The experience gained through these operations and the close collaboration with local authorities to supplement existing protocols with local guidelines have helped Genting Cruise Lines develop a new norm of safe cruising including passenger testing before boarding and stringent health screening processes and guidelines prior to embarkation and disembarkation; upgraded crew quarantine procedures; thorough sanitization, disinfection and heightened hygiene practices for guest cabins, onboard public areas and recreational activities; and, enhanced food and beverage safety.
The fleet’s ships also boast 100% external fresh air filtered and supplied to each passenger cabin as well as on board public spaces to provide a safer environment than most hotels and office buildings.
Genting Cruise Lines will continue to work with all relevant local authorities in Malaysia in making further adjustments to its comprehensive set of protocols to accommodate local guidelines and ensure the safest environment for everyone upon resumption of cruises.
Third party endorsement of the company’s health and hygiene protocols provide further reassurance with both Explorer Dream and World Dream obtaining the newly developed “Certification in Infection Prevention – Maritime (CIP-M)” from DNV, the largest classification society in the world. World Dream was also the first ship to have its CIP-M extended to three years as well as acquiring additional “CruiseSafe Certification” by the Singapore Tourism Board.