International cruises from Singapore to resume this month with Royal Caribbean sailing to Penang, Port Klang
SINGAPORE: Holidaymakers can soon go on international cruises for the first time in more than two years, with Royal Caribbean International announcing voyages between Singapore and Malaysia.
From Jun 30, Royal Caribbean’s vessel Spectrum of the Seas will set sail on three- and four-night trips between the two countries, the cruise operator said in a media release on Thursday (Jun 2).
The three-night cruises will stop at Penang, while the four-night cruises will stop at both Penang and Port Klang near Kuala Lumpur, with a range of shore excursions available to guests in the two ports of call. These include visits to Penang’s St George’s Church and Batu Caves on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital.
The announcement ends more than two years of cruises-to-nowhere, which came as operators attempt to make cruising safer amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guests are required to have six months' validity on their passports and must update the MySejahtera app before they depart. They are also required to comply with local vaccination requirements.
Bookings for the cruises opened on Thursday.
“We are thrilled to be the first cruise line in Singapore to reconnect holidaymakers with Asia’s beautiful destinations once again,” said Royal Caribbean's Asia-Pacific vice president and managing director Angie Stephen.
“The vibrant and culture-rich cities of Penang and Kuala Lumpur have so much to offer, and that is only the beginning.”
Singapore Tourism Board's director of cruise Annie Chang said that holidaymakers can look forward to more international cruises in the near future.
“We have been working closely with various governments in Southeast Asia to align on cruise protocols and policies, and are excited to bring back port calls in Malaysia for sailings as a start,” she said.
“Port calls will provide more vacation options and we look forward to seeing more first-time and repeat cruisers in the coming year as more ports in the region open up.”
Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas arrived in Singapore waters in March for its first season in the region and began operating three- and four-night “cruise to nowhere” sailings in April.
It was previously announced that the ship would sail from Singapore to Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam from Oct 21 this year, subject to approval from Singapore authorities.
Launched in 2019, Spectrum of the Seas was designed for the Asian cruise market and is able to accommodate up to 4,246 guests and 1,551 crew members, according to Royal Caribbean's website.
It has private suite accommodations in designated areas at the forward end of the ship, 19 dining options and features and activities “which have never before been seen at sea”.
The ship is scheduled to operate out of Singapore until April 2023.
The ship’s predecessor in Singapore, Quantum of the Seas, operated cruises to nowhere from the Marina Bay Cruise Centre between late 2020 and April this year before departing for Alaska.