Cruise ship to continue bringing tourists to Penang

08 AUGUST 2015, BY Malay Mail Online,
GEORGE TOWN, Aug 8 — All is not lost for Penang's cruise ship industry as Genting Hong Kong Ltd (formerly Star Cruises Ltd) is still bringing tourists from Singapore on a weekly basis to Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal.

 The bigger sister ship of SuperStar Libra, SuperStar Gemini will continue to call on the port on a weekly basis.

 “We are not closing office here because we want the public to enjoy cruise ship journey for them and their families,” said a source from the cruise operator.

 He said they were looking at offering more opportunities for people to enjoy the “Taipan” which is a six-star vessel.

 The exclusive ship has high-end facilities.“We are looking into offering more opportunities for the public as now it is only available for exclusive groups,” he said.

 As for the SuperStar Gemini, its passengers are mainly non-Malaysians and caters to the international market.

 From November to March, the ship will make weekly calls to Penang.

 “During the monsoon season, SuperStar Gemini cannot make its trip to Redang island so it will be here more frequently,” he said.

 He added Penang was still an attractive market but needed the right infrastructure.

 “Once everything is in place, we can expect more cruise liners to stop in Penang.

 “We operate six cruise ships in the region and another two giant ships are expected to enter the service,” he revealed adding they have a capacity of more than 4,000 passengers.

 SuperStar Gemini has a capacity of 1,532 passengers and 766 cabins. 

 It has a slightly bigger capacity in terms of passenger load and also in terms of length.

 The liner entered service in 2012 after being renamed from Norwegian Dream.

 “Onboard facilities include restaurants of Chinese Asian and international cuisines, open-deck barbeque, show lounge, karaoke, spa and health club, beauty salon, children's playroom and swimming pool,” said a spokesman for the company.

 He added comfortable cabins came in ergonomic ocean view rooms, stylish junior suites and deluxe executive suites along with duty-free shopping facilities.

 In a related matter, it was confirmed by Penang Port Sdn Bhd there was a slight  increase in non-gazetted tariff charges.

 “The amount is much cheaper than the charges imposed by Star Cruises at their own terminal in Langkawi,” said the spokesman.

 Penang Port Commission which operates the island and Butterworth ports ions has been constantly upgrading the pier cruise terminals.

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