Genting Cruise Lines and Penang Port Commission (PPC) and Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) have announced the Malaysian government’s approval for Star Cruises to restart operations in Malaysia on 22 December 2021. Star Pisces will launch safe sailings from Penang with Super Seacation itineraries.
Star Cruises is the first international cruise line to homeport and resume commercial operations in Malaysia. For the restart, Star Pisces will have five departures every week, offering a series of round-trip itineraries from Penang, including a two-night Langkawi Escape and a one-night Straits of Malacca cruise itineraries.
“We are looking forward to jump-start cruise services through the government's Phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan. PPSB will work closely with Star Cruises under Genting Cruise Lines to ensure safe and comfortable cruise trips for everyone.
"Now more than ever, tourists should no longer be concerned as the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal has been thoroughly inspected for the passengers' safety through strict SOP and guidelines to curb Covid-19,” said Dato' Sasedharan Vasudevan, CEO, Penang Port Sdn Bhd.
Star Pisces bookings will be open in mid-December and available to all Malaysian citizens, foreigners with valid Malaysian long-term visit passes, as well as international tourists who have completed and passed the quarantine and home surveillance order by Malaysian authorities.
“We hope to call on more Malaysian destinations and to expand our itineraries with the inclusion of regional destinations like Phuket in the near future to spur the cruise tourism industry. We are also actively pursuing with the various port authorities to ‘Harmonise Cruising Standards’ for the region in the hope of gradually re-opening international cruising in a controlled and safe manner,” said Kent Zhu, President of Genting Cruise Lines.
Star Cruises begins cruising with an initial reduced passenger capacity of 50%, with Langkawi and Straits of Malacca sailings. Photo Credit: Genting Cruise Lines
Sailing with peace of mind
Star Cruises has implemented a comprehensive system to ensure optimal health, hygiene and operating protocols. These protocols cover social distancing, safe food and beverage handling, as well as cleaning and disinfection.
Additionally, Star Pisces has received the ‘Certification in Infection Prevention for the Marine industry (CIP-M)’ from the world’s leading and international global healthcare expert, DNV. Onboard, a team of certified nurses and doctors are prepared to attend to any cases. They are supported by an Infection Control Officer (ICO), a well-equipped medical centre with a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine for on-board Covid-19 testing, as well as designated negative pressure isolation cabins.
Operating at a reduced passenger capacity of 50% for better control measures, the cruise ship also allows for 100% external fresh air to be filtered and supplied throughout the ship, including to each guest stateroom, ensuring a constant and healthy flow of fresh air with no-recirculation of air between staterooms.
Cruising requirements make it compulsory for all individuals on board to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19. Also, all embarking guests have to present a negative test result after completing the mandatory pre-boarding Antigen Rapid Test, which will be conducted at the cruise terminal on the day of the departure.