Star Cruises is set to become the first cruise line to resume operations in Malaysia, with Star Pisces offering domestic cruises from Penang starting December 22.
Parent company Genting Cruise Lines (GCL), together with Penang Port Commission and Penang Port, have been granted approval by the Malaysian government to restart cruises from Penang.
Star Pisces will have five departures every week, offering a series of roundtrip itineraries from Penang, including a two-night Langkawi Escape and a one-night Straits of Malacca cruise itinerary.
GCL also plans to launch more ships under the Star Cruises fleet.
Star Pisces will initially operate at a reduced passenger capacity of 50 per cent with strict enhanced safety and preventive measures. All individuals 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, which will be conducted at the cruise terminal on the day of the departure.
GCL president Kent Zhu said: “We hope to call on to more Malaysian destinations and to expand our itineraries with the inclusion of regional destinations like Phuket in the near future to spur the cruise tourism industry.
“We are also actively pursuing with the various port authorities to create a ‘Harmonize Cruising Standards’ for the region in the hope of gradually reopening international cruising in a controlled and safe manner, which will also bring inbound tourists to Malaysia, especially from our ship in Singapore.”
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 who have completed and passed the quarantine and home surveillance order by the Malaysian authorities.
Since July 2020, GCL was the first international cruise company in the world to pioneer and successfully restart operations with Dream Cruises, starting in Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.