The Malaysian government has granted approval for Star Cruises to restart operations in Malaysia on 22nd December.
‘Star Pisces’ (pictured) will be operating cruises out of Penang.
As the first international cruise line to homeport and resume commercial operations in Malaysia, ‘Star Pisces’ will offer five departures every week, in a series of roundtrip itineraries from Penang, including a two-night ‘Langkawi Escape’ and a one-night ‘Straits of Malacca’ cruise.
In July, 2020, Genting Cruise Lines was the first international cruise company to restart operations with Dream Cruises, out of Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
‘Star Pisces’ will initially operate at a reduced passenger capacity of 50% with strict enhanced safety and preventive measures in accordance with the local requirements and international standards.
All individuals on board must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. In addition, all embarking guests are required to present a negative test result after completing the mandatory pre-boarding Antigen Rapid Test (ART), which will be conducted at the cruise terminal on the day of the departure.
“As part of Genting Cruise Lines, Star Cruises is excited to pioneer safe cruises in Malaysia and to work hand-in-hand with the ministries under the Malaysian government, together with PPC and PPSB to support the country’s National Recovery Plan (NRP), including Langkawi’s international tourism travel bubble pilot programme.
“We hope to call on to 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 create a ‘Harmonise Cruising Standards’ for the region in the hope of gradually re-opening international cruising in a controlled and safe manner, which will also bring inbound tourists to Malaysia, especially from our ship in Singapore,” Kent Zhu, Genting Cruise Lines’ President explained.
“With the approval from the National Security Council (NCS) to restart domestic cruise operations, the cruise industry was given a new lease of life to operate once again. PPC, Genting Cruise Lines, PPSB and the respective Government agencies worked very closely to ensure domestic cruises could resume as soon as possible.
PPC believes the cruise packages offered by Star Cruises under Genting Cruise Lines will provide Malaysians with a long-awaited holiday alternative, as travelling abroad is presently restricted. We believe the restart of the domestic cruise operations in a safe manner will further boost the tourism sector, as well as the other supporting sectors.
“It is PPC’s hope that the domestic cruise operations will run smoothly in accordance with the prevailing SOPs and that international cruises will be allowed to operate in the near future,” said Datuk Tan Teik Cheng, Penang Port Chairman.
‘Star Pisces’ has received the ‘Certification in Infection Prevention for the Marine industry (CIP-M)’ from DNV. The ship also has certified nurses and doctors, including 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.