Return of cruises boosts sales for Malaysian agents

The tills at travel agencies in Malaysia are ringing with cruise holiday transactions, following Resorts World Cruises’s establishment of a Kuala Lumpur homeport, via Port Klang, for its Genting Dream cruise on July 18.

Malaysian agents told TTG Asia that bookings for Genting Dream is selling well due to its affordability. Two-night cruises from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore are priced from RM688 (US$154) while three-night programmes to Penang and Singapore are priced from RM988.

Malaysian agents attribute rising cruise sales to ease of booking and boarding; Genting Dream pictured

Koh Yock Heng, Apple Vacations and Conventions’ group managing director, expects sales to pick up further in the coming months as customers continue to be charmed by the ease of booking. Getting onboard is also easy, as cruise passengers only need to show a negative ART result prior to boarding.

In comparison, Koh said popular holiday destinations with Malaysians, such as Japan, require a visa. China, also a favourite, remains closed to holidaymakers.

Genting Dream’s homeport in Port Klang is also an advantage, opined Adam Kamal, director, Suka Travel, as the cruise holiday is accessible for Malaysians living in the northern, central and southern regions of Peninsular Malaysia.

Adam found sales to perform better than expected, and attributed that to the lack of competition at the moment. While Suka Travel also sells Royal Caribbean International’s Spectrum of the Seas, the ship is homeported in Singapore, which requires Malaysian travellers to make their way to Singapore for boarding.

The return of homeport cruises in Malaysia also presents an opportunity for local agents to expand their itineraries for international visitors. Destination Explore has been fielding enquiries from its Indian partners for year-end programmes that include two- and three-night cruises for both leisure and corporate travellers, shared vice president Ganneesh Ramaa.

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