Penang, RCL team on $35m terminal upgrade to host larger ships

Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal will be expanded to 688 meters to handle a pair of mega-ships simultaneously Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal will be expanded to 688 meters to handle a pair of mega-ships simultaneously (Photo: Anne Kalosh)

Penang Port and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. plan a US$35m project to upgrade and improve Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia, to accommodate larger ships.

The 60/40 joint venture will be managed by both parties, with the majority stake held by Penang Port.

Plans include extending the berth to 688 meters from its current length of 400 meters. This will enable the simultaneously docking of two mega-ships carrying more than 4,900 passengers each.

In addition, the redevelopment will include spaces for tour buses to ease the flow of traffic in the areas around the cruise terminal. Other aspects will improve accessibility for physically challenged passengers throughout the terminal from ship to shore.

This development is supported by Malaysia's state and federal governments and associated agencies including tourism bodies, and will be a focal part of Malaysian Tourism EPP6 plan to create a 'Straits and Borneo Cruise Riviera.'

Further, the joint venture will showcase Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to the fast-growing cruise market.

The ability to handle more and larger ships at Swettenham Pier is expected to position Penang as a major cruise destination in the region.

RCL is scheduled to make 38 calls in 2017.

Posted 17 March 2017

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Anne Kalosh

US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News

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