Cruise Shipping Miami a Great Success
Cruise Asia by Destination Asia attended Cruise Shipping Miami from 17-19 March. A highly successful event, this marks the 10th year running of attendance by our Regional Director, Alvin Materi. Miami continues to be the global hub of the cruise industry, making this event a must-attend. It’s not just the meetings which are important, but also the many ancillary events and networking opportunities. Participating from the Cruise Asia offices this year were: Bob Guy (MD Singapore & Malaysia), and Sediya Yasa (MD Indonesia).
One of the event’s highlights was the annual ‘The World’s Leading Ground Operators’ (TWLGO) cocktail party, held at the Raleigh Hotel on South Beach. In attendance were many Cruise line presidents, itinerary planners and shore excursions professionals. TWLGO first began hosting its soiree at Cruise Shipping Miami (then called the Seatrade Convention) in 1998 and hasn’t missed a year since. Cruise Shipping Miami moves to Fort Lauderdale next year while major renovations take place at the Miami Beach convention center.
East Java Port Expansion
Indonesia’s second largest port, Tanjung Perak Port in East Java, recorded 300% growth in the number of cruise ship passengers arriving at the port in 2014. State-owned port operator PT Pelabuhan Indonesia III (Pelindo III) said that improvements in infrastructure and services made at the port throughout 2013 lured cruise liners to make more calls to Tanjung Perak, which is located in archipelago’s second largest city of Surabaya.
The operator also announced its commitment to continue upgrading the port in order to attract more cruise liners to the region, helping the central government in developing the tourism sector. Pelindo III recently opened its new cruise terminal, Gapura Surya Nusantara terminal. This will allow more travelers to experience the exciting selection of pre and post tour programs on offer by Destination Asia Indonesia in Surabaya.
Annual Growth Rate of 9% Forecast
A recent study by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) revealed sharp growth within the cruise industry both globally and in Asia Pacific, forecasting an annual growth rate of up to 9%. In April 2014 the HKTB, together with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau set up the Asia Cruise Fund with the purpose to promote regional co-operation in cruise tourism and motivate international cruise lines to deploy more ships to Asia. As more cruise ships call on Asia’s ports, regional consumer interest in cruise travel will be increased.
There has also been a developing trend with meeting and incentive planners utilizing cruises for incentive travel. Meeting rooms onboard are abundant, and auditoriums or theatres can also be rented for large-scale events on bigger vessels.
Cruise Asia by Destination Asia provide more port coverage than any other company in Asia and the creative drive of our management and staff guarantees our clients continue receive the absolute pinnacle of personalized service and product delivery.
Double Port Facilities in Burma
Yangon now features two dedicated port facilities with the addition of the 150,000 square meter MIPL (Myanmar Integrated Port Limited) providing an excellent alternative port to MITT (Myanmar International Terminals Thilawa). MIPL is located approximately 20 miles from the Yangon River estuary in the Kyauktan area and is supported by a 200 meter long wharf with 10 meter draft allowing vessels up to 20,000 metric tons to conveniently berth.
Cruise Asia by Destination Asia is the first ground service provider to operate this new port, where we delivered 15 shore excursions in Myanmar to our client. The most requested excursions were overland programs to Mandalay and Bagan. We also provided a group charter flight as part of the Bagan visit to reduce the travel time. The development of this cruise terminal has been praised by the Myanmar Port Authority as an answer to multi-ship handling in Myanmar. With Destination Asia’s exceptional cruise services and varied selection of overland tours, we envisage a rapid rise in cruise visitors to the region.
Mountain, Gorge and Lake Explorer in Japan
Our full day tour of Mt Hakkoda, Oirase Gorge and Lake Towada is the perfect way to discover and learn more about Japan when disembarking a ship at Aomori Port. Guests are ushered into a comfortable bus and taken through the spectacular landscape surrounding Mt Hakkoda, a part of Towada Hachimantai National Park. Winding our way through a thick beech tree forest, we arrive an hour later at the lower station of Hakkoda Ropeway. A short ride on the ropeway and guests step off at Summit Station located 1,300 m above sea level, where panoramic views of the national park and Mutsu Bay present themselves.
Next stop is Oirase Gorge, cut by a stream running out of Lake Towada. A gentle walk along its edge introduces guests to a number of exotic birds and wild flowers that thrive in this natural habitat, before finally arriving at Lake Towada itself. Our day is made complete with a stop at Odiako no Yakata Museum which features handicrafts unique to the region before driving to Noshiro Port where the ship will be waiting.
Mah Meri Cultural Village on Carey Island
South of Port Klang in Malaysia is Carey Island, home to the indigenous Mah Meri people, known for their intricate wood carvings of animals for use in spiritual healing. The wood carvings are of such high quality they have become a sought after export product. For a day out with a difference, guests are accompanied by an expert guide who explains the cultural traditions of the Mah Meri and reveals the tales hidden behind the island’s glorious landscape. From the Island, guests can see the spectacular Sok Gre’the sacred mountain, winding its way sharply up into the clouds. The mountain and surrounding landscape is steeped in a rich and colorful history, a place known for cultural and rituals events, while its fertile land provides herbs used to heal the sick.
Throughout the day we discover local houses made from wood, witness a traditional dance performance and become involved in a number of cultural practices. An excellent day program available for those stopping at Port Klang.
Raffles Discovery Program in Singapore
An afternoon in Singapore presents travelers with an exciting assortment of opportunities. Cruise Asia by Destination Asia suggests our Raffles Delight program for an introduction to the city. We start with a ride to Stamford Raffles landing site where we board a local bumboat and sail along the river, exploring the surrounding quays while watching activities taking place along the water’s edge. There will be a recorded narrated commentary on this 30-minute cruise which details the history of the city as you cruise past the modern skyscrapers and restored shop-houses.
Once on dry land again, we head to our next adventure, a trishaw ride through Little India to expose ourselves to the sights, sounds and smells of this quirky and colorful corner of Singapore. The ride ends at The Raffles Hotel. Here the famous Singapore Sling awaits your arrival at the Long Bar. With a little free time left we suggest guests walk through the stunning hotel to learn a little more about its history and maybe pick up a souvenir.
Pre/Post Cruise Bangkok Explorer
Cruise Asia by Destination Asia has an exciting pre/post tour program for guests arriving into Laem Chabang Port in Eastern Thailand. Our three day itinerary introduces travelers to Bangkok’s foremost Buddhist temples and the Grand Palace before heading through Chinatown and along a series of hidden canals to reveal local life. After an early morning start we visit Wat Traimit, home to a five-and-a-half ton Buddha statue made of pure gold before continuing to Wat Pho, where the reclining Buddha reveals itself. Around the corner we then discover Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. To finish the day we take a walk through the majestic Grand Palace to explore its stunning gilded architecture.
The following day we head out into the vibrant streets of Chinatown and along the waterways of Thonburi. On our journey guest visit a colorful flower market where orchids of all shapes and sizes can be found. Then step into a Tuk Tuk for a spin around the side streets of Chinatown, visiting teahouses, gold shops and of course, dining at the spectacular roadside restaurants.
New Cruise Manager Appointed in Japan
Yumiko Kuzuhara has an extensive background in the cruise industry both within Japan and internationally. She joins Cruise Asia by Destination Asia from a major outbound agency where, for the past five years she organized experiences and worked as a tour leader within Mediterranean and Caribbean destinations. She also has extensive experience in negotiating with cruise lines and overseeing tour arrangements. Yumiko will lead our turnaround operations in the larger ports of Tokyo and Kobe/Osaka.
Yumiko is looking forward to introducing her beloved country of Japan to clients from all over the world, especially as they will be disembarking from a cruise ship, her favorite way to travel.