Genting Cruise Lines and Penang Port Sdn. Bhd (PPSB) have announced plans 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’ Star Pisces, which can accommodate up to 1,600 passengers.
The proposed Langkawi cruises will comprise of two-night “Langkawi Escape” and a series of one-night “Straits of Malacca” cruises.
The 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.”
Initially operating at a reduced capacity, all activities onboard 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.
Genting Cruise Lines, which owns Star, has already returned to service in Asia with Dream Cruises.
The company was the first cruise line to resume service in Asia, 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 onboard so far. Also recently announced, with her new Bahamas Escapes cruises from July 3, the 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.