Star Cruises will resume sailing in Malaysia on May 13, in a move aimed at revitalising the domestic tourism industry.
Genting Cruise Lines and Penang Port announced plans to offer two itineraries to Malaysian guests aboard the Star Pisces cruise ship.
The ship, which can accommodate up to 1,600 passengers, will be the first to resume sailing in Malaysia.
The voyages coincide with the start of the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays.
Langkawi Escape, a two-night cruise, will depart Penang every Friday and Sunday. Passengers will have 10 hours of port time to explore Langkawi.
The one-night Straits Of Malacca cruise will depart every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, where passengers "will be able to see all types of marine vessels", said the release.
All activities on board the ship will initially operate at a reduced capacity, and will be organised in accordance with permitted group sizes specific to each activity.
This will be in line with prevailing national policies, with measures put in place to discourage close contact between groups.
"The new Langkawi itineraries will provide Malaysians the opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of cruising again and will bring much-needed benefits to the local workforce, airlines, restaurants, retailers and hotels for pre- and post-cruise stays in Penang and Langkawi,” said Ms Cynthia Lee, vice-president for Genting Cruise Lines in Malaysia.
“The cruise services have always been the cornerstone in Penang, and what gave Penang its distinctiveness," said Mr Sasedharan Vasudevan, CEO of Penang Port.
“With the persistent issue of the COVID-19 pandemic that has curbed domestic tourism, supporting the Genting Cruise Lines on ensuring safe and comfortable cruise trips is important to jumpstart the local cruise sector."
HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES
Genting Cruise Lines, which owns Star Cruises, said that its experience with "incident-free operations" in the past months, along with a close collaboration with local authorities has helped it develop a "new norm of safe cruising".
This includes passenger testing before boarding and stringent health screening processes and guidelines prior to embarkation and disembarkation, the release said.
Genting Cruise Lines said it has also developed upgraded crew quarantine procedures, thorough sanitisation, disinfection and heightened hygiene practices for guest cabins, onboard public areas and recreational activities.
"The fleet’s ships also boast 100 per cent external fresh air filtered and supplied to each passenger cabin as well as on board public spaces to provide a safer environment than most hotels and office buildings," said the release.