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Princess Cruises features Kota Kinabalu for the first time in latest homeporting season in Southeast Asia

December 5, 2016 Cruise No Comments Email Email

image004Princess Cruises is featuring Kota Kinabalu for the first time in its current homeporting season for 2016-17 in Southeast Asia. Kota Kinabalu will also be featured in the following year’s homeporting season for 2017-18, with a total of eight ship calls to Kota Kinabalu for two seasons. 

Diamond Princess arrived in Kota Kinabalu yesterday (1 Dec) from Singapore en-route to Nha Trang, Vietnam on a 10-night Southeast Asia voyage before returning to Singapore where it will be deployed till March 2017.  Diamond Princess is a 116,000-ton world class liner, which can accommodate 2,706 passengers and 1,100 crew, housing top class facilities and cabins across 18 decks.

“We are excited to debut Kota Kinabalu in our current sailing itinerary as we have been exploring Kota Kinabalu as part of our itineraries due to its natural beauty and exotic cultural elements,” said Farriek Tawfik, Director of Southeast Asia, Princess Cruises.

“Not only do we contribute to the local cruise tourism industry, Malaysia remains a very important source market for Princess Cruises. Moreover, guests in Borneo now have the option of boarding our ship from Kota Kinabalu which further increases the convenience and attractiveness of taking a cruise from Kota Kinabalu to the many destinations in this region,” added Mr. Tawfik.  Other Malaysian ports of calls for this season include Penang, Port Klang and Langkawi.

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Left to right: Datuk Joniston Lumai, Charmain, Sabah Tourism Board; Captain Todd McBain, Diamond Princess; Mr. Farriek Tawfik, Director for Southeast Asia, Princess Cruises

The Malaysian Government has identified Kota Kinabalu as one of three ports in Malaysia that has significant potential to attract more visitors to the country. Princess Cruises has also answered this call by bringing in inbound tourists to experience first-hand Kota Kinabalu’s many historical landmarks and exotic attractions in our specially-curated shore excursions.

The shore excursions include visits to Mt. Kinabalu Park and Dusun villages, as well as other attractions such as Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, Mari-Mari Cultural Village, Kellybays/Tambalang River, Sabah Museum, City Mosque and Tun Mustapha Tower just to name a few.

According to the official trade organization of the cruise industry, Cruise Line International Association’s (CLIA) report on the cruise industry in Asia, more than eight out of 10 Asian passengers cruise within Asia. CLIA’s research also found that more than four out of 10 passengers in Asia are under 40.  Mr. Tawfik also said that this is a trend that is on the rise especially in Southeast Asia with younger passenger demographics, as well as inter-generational travel, as compared to more elderly passengers in the West who go on a cruise.

Diamond Princess will be deployed in Singapore for the first time for Princess Cruises’ third homeporting season (November 2016 to March 2017), where it will call at 13 ports in six countries in the region, offering 16 round-trip departures with 25 distinct itineraries. Guests can choose from three to 12-day voyages.

Diamond Princess underwent a US$30 million dry dock (refurbishment) in Singapore in 2014 where it was fitted with the largest Japanese bath at sea featuring a 8,800-square-foot bath and garden complex, and other new or expanded facilities such as a sushi restaurant, upgraded duty-free boutiques, a sports court and even a wedding chapel.

“We are confident that Diamond Princess which was previously home-porting in Japan, will appeal to our guests in this region. Due to the positive response from our first two homeporting seasons as well as for this current third season, we are also announcing that Sapphire Princess will return for Princess Cruises’ fourth homeporting season in Singapore which will again feature Kota Kinabalu as one of our ports of call,” added Mr. Tawfik.

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