Penang welcomes concurrent arrival of two mega cruises

GEORGE TOWN — Penang welcomed two renowned cruises, Genting Dream and Royal Caribbean Spectrum Of The Seas which concurrently docked at Penang Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal yesterday.

In a proactive effort to bolster cruise tourism and strengthen partnerships within the industry, a courtesy visit by Penang State Tourism and Creative Economy (PETACE) chairman Wong Hon Wai and key stakeholders to these cruises and to Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal was conducted yesterday.

Wong said the visit aimed to explore collaborative opportunities and showcase Penang’s commitment to providing exceptional experiences for cruise passengers, and discuss strategies for further enhancing the cruise tourism sector in the region.

He said Penang situated strategically in the heart of Southeast Asia, serves as an ideal port of call for cruise liners traversing the region and being one of the few city ports in Malaysia, the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal in George Town stands as a testament to Penang’s dedication to providing world-class facilities and services for cruise tourists.

“With the recent completion of Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal’s expansion, it has allowed the capacity of this port to be elevated to cater up to two quantum-size cruise ships and its top-tier facility to accommodate 12,000 passengers, resulting in the berthing of both Genting Dream and Royal Caribbean Spectrum of the Seas concurrently.

“The terminal’s strategic location allows tourists to immediately be greeted by an UNESCO World Heritage Site the moment they disembark from the cruise and visitors will be able to get a teaser of Penang from the eight hours excursion that will ultimately serves as a return bait for these visitors,” he said in statement today.

Wong added during the visit, engaging discussions were held with terminal management and staff, providing a platform for exchanging ideas and insights into the future of cruise tourism in Penang.

He said topics such as sustainability initiatives and enhanced guest experiences were explored, highlighting Penang’s dedication to continuous improvement and innovation in the tourism sector.

Wong also expressed gratitude for the warm hospitality extended by the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal, Resort World Cruises and Royal Caribbean International’s team and underscored the importance of collaboration in driving the growth and sustainability of Penang’s tourism industry.

Wong  emphasised the need for continued investment in infrastructure, training, and promotional efforts to ensure that Penang remains a premier destination for cruise tourists worldwide, and makes a positive contribution to the growth and sustainable development of the Penang economy.

He also added that 2024 will undoubtedly bring new experiences for cruise tourists visiting Penang as major cruise companies have introduced innovatively designed cruises to cater to various travel preferences.

“Besides the recent simultaneous arrival of Genting Dream and Royal Caribbean Spectrum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean will unveil the “Utopia of the Seas” in July 2024.

“Additionally, Princess Cruises will also launch the highly anticipated “Sun Princess,” while Disney Cruise Line plans to introduce the adventure-themed “Disney Treasure” in December 2024,” he added.

He said as Penang continues to evolve as a premier cruise tourism destination, the state government remains committed to fostering partnerships with cruise lines, tour operators, and stakeholders to enhance the overall visitor experience.

He added through collaborative efforts, it is the state’s aim to showcase the best of Penang’s hospitality, ensuring that every cruise tourist leaves with cherished memories and a desire to return.

Genting Dream, is the flagship of Resort World Cruises that has a total of 18 decks with 3,352 passengers’ capacity lower berth and it is a trendsetter in hospitality for 50 years, bringing the classic resort experience to travellers even while at sea.

Meanwhile Royal Caribbean Spectrum of the Seas, the award-winning Quantum class, is an adventure full of feats and firsts and it is listed in “The 30 Largest Cruise Ships in the World Ranked” with a total of 14 guest decks with a 5,622-passenger capacity. — BERNAMA / pic TMR FILE

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