SPECTRUM OF THE SEAS’ RETURN TO MALAYSIA’S PORTS BRINGS WELCOME BOOST FOR LOCAL TOURISM OPERATORS4 min read
Asia’s largest and most innovative ship, Spectrum of the Seas, is charting a course that will help boost Malaysia’s tourism sector. On the back of a successful first port call in Kuala Lumpur on 1 July and Penang on 2 July after more than two years of cruises to nowhere – Malaysia’s travel and tourism industries can anticipate a lift from the twice weekly sailings Spectrum of the Seas is scheduled to deliver into Malaysian ports.
In recognition of cruise tourism being given a new lease of life, celebratory events were held onboard Spectrum of the Seas as she called at Port Klang in Kuala Lumpur yesterday and Penang’s Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal, this morning. At both ports, senior dignitaries and state officials witnessed the plaque and key exchanges between Spectrum of the Seas’ Captain Flemming and the ports’ senior executives.
In Port Klang, Group Managing Director of MMC Corporation Berhad, Chairman of Port Klang Cruise Terminal, Deputy Under Secretary of Maritime Department in its Ministry of Transport, Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Selangor, Director of Immigration at Selangor, and Royal Caribbean’s regional executive team and trade partners gathered onboard Spectrum of the Seas where they were given a tour of the ship’s highlights.
This morning in Penang, Penang State Exco for Tourism and Creative Economy, Chairman of Penang Port Commission, General Manager of Penang Port Commission, Chairman of Penang Port Sdn Bhd, and Chief Executive Officer of Penang Port Sdn Bhd joined the Royal Caribbean executive team for a press briefing, followed by a ship tour.
“As the new owner of the passenger cruise terminal in Port Klang, Port Klang Cruise Terminal (PKCT) is indeed excited to see the resumption of cruise ships calling at our terminal. The arrival of Spectrum of the Seas on 1 July 2022 at PKCT was a significant milestone, as it marked the revival of the cruise tourism after a two-year break due to COVID-related travel restrictions. We believe that the arrival of cruise ships to Port Klang, carrying local and international passengers to enjoy restaurants, attractions and shopping malls around the state of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur will greatly support Malaysia’s tourism industry and economy. We have introduced a new attraction for passengers – “Cruise Day Fiesta” at the PKCT terminal building – in conjunction with Tourism Selangor featuring local cuisine and handicraft. PKCT is ready to welcome cruise liners to our world-class terminal,” said Dato’ Azman Shah Mohd Yusof, Chairman of PKCT.
“It’s been more than two years since Malaysia has had international cruise ships visit due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown. Penang is now primed for a tourism rebound with the arrival of Spectrum of the Seas. Penang Port has served 13 international calls totaling nearly 35,000 passengers just in July, 27,000 of whom were guests from Spectrum of the Seas. As one of the chosen port calls in Malaysia for Spectrum of the Seas’ twice weekly sailings, Penang Port is pleased to warmly welcome and host Spectrum of the Seas, and appreciates the economic growth, joy and benefits this will bring to Penang,” said Datuk Tan Teik Cheng, Chairman of Penang Port Commission.
“For two years, our focus was on keeping the boat afloat at SPCT and preparing for its inevitable resumption, and now we are delighted to say that we are back in business. Owing much to the hard work from every party involved, Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal is more advanced than ever. Our amenities and duty-free shops have been updated to accommodate both domestic and international guests and our facilities are upgraded to cater for both local and international passengers. For the first time, our expanded berth has seen two Oasis class vessels at standby in the terminal and we are confident that the revival of our cruise services will help bring about a paradigm shift for the businesses in Penang. Of course, Penang Port will work very hard to take all reasonable precautions to ensure no new Covid-19 infections, and we urge everyone, including tourists to also play their part in breaking the chain,” said Dato’ Sasedharan Vasudevan, Chief Executive Officer of Penang Port Sdn Bhd.
“The wait is over! We are thrilled to herald the return of ports-of-call cruising within the region, and to connect holidaymakers with Asia’s beautiful destinations once again. The combination of adventures and experiences we’ve curated onboard, as well as the vibrancy and rich heritage of Malaysia’s shores will make Spectrum of the Seas a huge hit for Singapore guests as well as fly-cruisers from around the globe,” said Angie Stephen, vice president and managing director, Asia-Pacific, Royal Caribbean International.
“It is truly a privilege to share the majesty of the ocean and the vibrancy of our destination communities with our guests. To that end we are committed to pilot and develop new technologies and practices to protect region’s local waters, preserve the health and heritage of the local communities we visit, and continue to deliver the best vacations at sea, responsibly and sustainably.”
With the combination of brand-new thrills and signature favourites on board and ashore, the new 3- and 4-night itineraries offer guests of all ages the first opportunity of many to sail and explore international shores once again.