Extensive port terminal expansions from Singapore to Malaysia, to
Indonesia and beyond are driving the upturn in the cruise industry
confidence across Asia.
Key issues being addressed by regional port authorities and cruise
operators are efforts to achieve sustainable practices, adhering to
strict safety protocols and moves to offer a free visa waiver for cruise
passengers arriving in Indonesia.
At CruiseWorld Asia’s cruise port panel discussion: ‘Unlocking the
growth of Asia’s cruise tourism’, moderator Xinyi Liang-Pholsena, senior
editor, Travel Weekly Asia, gathered insights from Mohamad Halim Ahmed,
undersecretary, Ministry of Transport Malaysia; Lionel Wong, CEO,
SATS-Creuers Cruise Services; and Rizki Handayani, deputy for tourism
products and events, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy,
Halim said all port terminals and visiting cruise ships in Malaysia
must adhere to strict hygiene standards, and were being encouraged to
reduce waste across operations, reduce emissions, and “to be
eco-friendly and sustainable in every aspect, whenever possible”.
Since November 2020, 449 cruise calls were made in Singapore, which
alone among regional ports remained active during the pandemic. “More
than 800,000 passengers have sailed through Singapore during that time,”
Rizki Handayan said cruise ports across Indonesia are expanding to
meet high demand. Infrastructure improvements include bigger berths,
comfortable gate hold areas and arrival facilities, expanded duty-free
shopping, restaurant and cafes.
Fast track immigration with free visa on arrival for all cruise passengers is in the pipeline, she said.