The cruise line, together with Penang Port Commission (PPC) and Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) were granted approval by the Malaysian government to restart cruises from Penang.
As the first international cruise line to homeport and resume commercial operations in Malaysia, Star Pisces will have five departures every week, offering a series of roundtrip itineraries from Penang, including a 2-Night ‘Langkawi Escape’ and a 1-Night ‘Straits of Malacca’ cruise itinerary, providing a timely and seasonal vacation option for Malaysians to celebrate Christmas and New Year during the school holidays.
Genting Cruise Lines resumed operations back in July 2020 with Dream Cruises, starting in Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong. It is planning to launch more ships under the Star Cruises fleet, beginning with Star Pisces in Malaysia.
50% capacity, fully vaccinated
Star Pisces will initially operate at a reduced passenger capacity of 50% with strict enhanced safety and preventive measures that are in accordance with the local requirements and international standards.
All passengers and crew on board must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. In addition, all embarking guests are required to present a negative test result after completing the mandatory pre-boarding Antigen Rapid Test (ART), which will be conducted at the cruise terminal on the day of the departure.
Kent Zhu, President of Genting Cruise Lines commented, ‘We hope to call on more Malaysian destinations and to expand our itineraries with the inclusion of regional destinations like Phuket in the near future.’
'We are also actively pursuing with the various port authorities to create a ‘Harmonize Cruising Standards’ for the region in the hope of gradually re-opening international cruising in a controlled and safe manner, which will also bring inbound tourists to Malaysia, especially from our ship in Singapore,' said Zhu.
Datuk Tan Teik Cheng, Chairman of PPC noted, ‘we hope that the domestic cruise operations will run smoothly in accordance with the prevailing SOPs and that international cruises will be allowed to operate in the near future.’
Star Pisces bookings will be open in mid-December and available to all Malaysian citizens, foreigners with valid Malaysian long-term visit passes, as well as international tourists that had completed and passed the quarantine and home surveillance order by the Malaysian authorities.
Dato' Sasedharan Vasudevan, CEO, Penang Port said, ‘PPSB will work closely with Star Cruises under Genting Cruise Lines to ensure safe and comfortable cruise trips for everyone. Now more than ever, tourists should no longer be concerned as the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT) has been thoroughly inspected for the passengers' safety through strict SOP and guidelines to curb COVID-19.’