LANGKAWI, 26 March 2021: Star cruises in Malaysia is planning to resumes sailings with Langkawi, the signature destination for the 13 May launch that marks the start of the Hari Raya Aidilfitri Holiday.
The 1,600 passenger Star Pisces will serve the proposed Langkawi cruises offering a two-night “Langkawi Escape” and a series of one-night “Straits of Malacca” sailings from homeport Penang.
The two-night “Langkawi Escape Cruise” will depart Penang every Friday and Sunday, and passengers can have 10 hours of port time to explore Langkawi. Also departing Penang, the one night “Straits of Malacca Cruise” will sail every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Star Pisces will become the first ship to resume sailing in Malaysia and will be instrumental in promoting tourism recovery for Langkawi, the country’s premier island destination.
The Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) is confident that the domestic cruises restart will boost the island’s tourism industry, which has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lada senior principal assistant manager (tourism division) Azmil Munif Mohd Bukhari told the New Strait Times cruises had been a significant contributing factor to tourist arrivals in Langkawi in the last couple of years.
“Tourist arrivals in 2019 stood at 3.9 million. It dropped by 54% last year to 1.8 million due to the pandemic. We are happy and welcome the resumption of cruises as it will help the industry.”
Last year, the island recorded 65,443 cruise passenger arrivals.
Genting Cruise Lines in Malaysia that owns the Star Cruises brand, says it will give Malaysians the opportunity to rediscover cruising again.
The domestic cruises to Langkawi will be instrumental in revitalising the ailing travel agent sector, giving them an opportunity to kick-start travel sales and rebuild the cruise economy.
Initially operating at a reduced capacity, all activities onboard Star Pisces will comply with group sizes for social distancing in line with national measures that will discourage close contact between groups.
Genting Cruise Lines, which owns Star, has already returned to service in Asia with Dream Cruises.
The company was the first cruise line to resume service in Asia, having completed about nine months of incident-free operations in Taiwan with Dream Cruises’ Explorer Dream and about five months in Singapore with World Dream, welcoming more than 150,000 guests on board so far.
(Source: LADA and Genting Cruise Lines)