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Princess Cruises announces new season of cruise trips for Malaysian cruise market

October 2, 2013 Cruise No Comments Email Email

Princess Cruises, a leading cruise line brand under Carnival Corporation & Plc, one of the largest leisure travel companies in the world, will be cruising to Malaysian shores for a new season of cruise trips and offering a wide array of itineraries.

Princess Cruises is responding to the vast potential of the Malaysian and Southeast Asian cruise market by introducing the largest deployment ever by a premium cruise line in the region, bringing the Sapphire Princess to Southeast Asia for a four-month season from November 2014 to February 2015. Sapphire Princess_At Sunset

“The total economic impact to Malaysia that Princess Cruises’ new season of cruise trips is expected to bring is considerable, based on passenger and crew spending in each port, port and other local costs as well as travel agent commissions and marketing costs,” said Farriek Tawfik, Director for Southeast Asia, Princess Cruises.

Malaysia’s cruise industry is primed to expand rapidly in the near future due to the region’s potential for cruise. According to the Tourism Malaysia, the Asian and international cruise passenger market is growing at an average rate of 14 percent annually over the past 10 years. Likewise, Malaysia’s cruise industry is also set to grow, with the number of cruise passengers estimated to exceed half a million in 2013.

Southeast Asia has a natural advantage that provides it with an edge in the global cruise market, with its 25,000 islands offering much more potential for cruise destinations compared to Caribbean’s 7,000 andMalaysia is well placed to benefit from the region’s growing cruise market. On the demand side, the rise of the increasingly affluent customer increases awareness and demand for cruising, setting the stage for a positive outlook on the country’s cruise market.

“We are excited to launch Princess Cruises’ new itineraries to Malaysia. With its fascinating architectural landscapes and rich melting pot of cultures, Sapphire PrincessMalaysia is definitely an exciting destination for our passengers. Its cultural and natural attractions are bound to appeal to international and regional cruise vacationers alike”, said Mr.Tawfik.

In 2012, Penang handled a total of 211,554 cruise ship passengers with 139 ship calls, followed by Port Klang at 141,266 passengers with 98 ship calls. Langkawi is expected to claim third spot this year with 59,600 passengers and 52 calls (TTG Asia, 2013). According to the Malaysia Cruise Council, Port Klang is expecting 195,000 passengers this year, an increase of 38% from last year.

Additionally, strong government support and initiatives in the sector with regards to regulatory procedures, destination development and port infrastructure will facilitate the growth of the cruise market. For example, Port Klang’s cruise ship capacity has been increased to cater to larger ships and more passengers. Another factor contributing to the industry’s progress is the easing of the Cabotage Policy. Since March 2012, cruise vessels are exempt from this policy which previously only allowed for registered vessels to load and unload passengers in the Malaysia ports.

Princess Cruises Itineraries

The itineraries have been custom-designed for the diverse Asia vacation market, and will offer more destinations than on any other cruise line, calling at seven countries and 16 ports in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Brunei.

The wide range of cruise lengths will run from three to 11 days, providing passengers with a wide array of vacation experiences.  Malaysia is an important destination for the season of cruise trips that Sapphire Princess will be bringing to the region and is included in many of the itineraries. This includes a three-day Straits of Malacca trip calling at Penang and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang) and a four-day Malaysia trip calling at Penang, Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang). Others include a five-day Thailand and Malaysia trip and a 10-day Malaysian Peninsula and Indonesia trip.

Approximately 40,000 passengers are expected to be carried during this first season of cruising which will sail from Singapore.   Passengers will be sourced from Malaysia and throughout Asia, in addition to international markets including North America, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Princess Cruises Experience

The cruise experience onboard Sapphire Princess will be substantially the same as the Princess Cruises product offered around the world, providing an impressive array of dining, shopping and entertainment options.

Highlights of offerings include the line’s signature innovations such as its popular “Movies Under the Stars”pool-side theater and The Sanctuary, an exclusive top-deck retreat. However some changes and enhancements will be made to appeal to the local market including multi-lingual crew members in key passengers-facing positions.

Dining room menus will offer the line’s international cuisine while additional offerings will cater to local tastes. Specially-designed enrichment programs will be featured and other amenities such as the shopping selection and spa treatments will also be tailored to local preferences.

The 116,000-ton Sapphire Princess carries 2,670 passengers and features more than 200 suites and mini-suites with private balconies, Lotus Spa, Sterling Steakhouse, Sabatini’s trattoria, wine bar, patisserie, pizzeria, boutiques, and Internet café among other amenities.

Guests of Princess Cruises will also get to enjoy a rewarding onboard shopping experience with Sapphire Princess’ multitude of boutiques specializing in logo apparel, souvenirs, fashion, fine jewelry, fragrances and watches.

In conjunction with this new program Princess Cruises has launched a version of the on- demand, on-line training program called Princess Academy, which will enable travel agents in Malaysia and the region to become experts on cruise sales, the Princess fleet, destinations and programs. Globally, over 50,000 travel agents are active participants in Princess Academy, making it one of the largest online travel universities in the world.

“We definitely look forward to a good working relationship with our partners in Malaysia such as the travel agents, Tourism Malaysia and other government agencies as well as Malaysian Cruise Council and the state tourism agencies to bring international passengers to Malaysian shores,” said Mr Tawfik.

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