CRUISING THE OPEN SEA
Malaysia is an exciting destination for those who love being on the water and having others doing all the hard work. Sit back and relax and let one of several cruise line operators to take you to various enchanting destinations along Malaysian coastline. Some of the world’s best cruise ships operate in Malaysian waters and offer an excellent combination of recreational facilities, entertainment, gourmet meals and exotic destinations.
Cruising is one of the world’s fastest growing holiday choices and Southeast Asian tours are booming. Cruising is not only seen as an exciting holiday choice but on that offers great value for money. Malaysia is one of the regions most attractive cruise destinations and is on most ’round-the-world’ cruise routes. The principal cruise operators in Malaysian waters is the Malaysian-owned and operated, Star Cruises. This award winning operator and its associated companies of Norwegian Cruise Line and Orient Lines is Asia-Pacific’s leading cruise line and the world’s fourth largest with a fleet of 20 vessels and more on order. Star Cruises has one of the world’s youngest and modern fleets. Safety is paramount and Star Cruises $US5 million ship simulator makes it the world’s only cruise line with such a facility.
RELAX OR PLAY
Throughout the world, cruise ships have been referred to as floating resorts as they feature similar services and facilities to hotels except that they are mobile and move around the seas and oceans. As such, they offer an excellent opportunity for those who love hotel comforts and services while being able to see a variety of destinations on the one journey. Passengers checking onto Star Cruise are ensured of a safe and comfortable journey where the crew does all the work. Immigration procedures are seamless as all passengers are issued with an identification card that also acts as an on-board charge card.
AMAZING ESCAPES OF THE STAR CRUISE
The mega ship Super Star Virgo operates in Malaysian waters and is typical of the modern Star Cruises fleet. It boasts 13 decks, features a majestic seven-deck grand atrium and was built specifically for the Asian region. She offers a variety of dining, wining and entertainment options with some 25 outlets providing a world-class cruise experience. There are 980 cabins with lower-berth capacity of 1,960 passengers. Cabins come in a variety of layouts from executive suites to twin berth staterooms. Many have balconies and all feature modern conveniences to ensure a pleasant stay while onboard. These include TV (Satellite plus in-house movies), shower, toilet, writing desk, cupboards and drawers. There is a variety of dining options and all-day dining is possible. Most meals are included in the cost of the cruise although some of the prestigious restaurants have a surcharge.
The cuisines offered include both western and Asian favourites and some have dress codes although smart casual is acceptable for most occasions. Free style cruising as pioneered by Star Cruise means that passengers can be as active or as relaxed as they choose. There is an endless selection of onboard activities ranging from recreation, leisure to entertainment in addition to shore excursions. Daily newssheets announce the option of that day. Dedicated activities for children as well as professional child care facilities are available. There are movies, dance, music, disco, performances, karaoke, shows and concerts. For energetic, choose from the golf driving range, table tennis, mini golf, basketball court, gym, aerobics and jogging. Alternatively, relax by the pool, Jacuzzi or spa. There are excellent library, e-mail access, business centre and a range of shops offering an extensive selection of duty-free items.
Cruise liners offer various destinations, durations and levels of passenger comfort. Those operating in Malaysian and neighbouring waters include six days/five nights, four days/three nights and three days/two nights cruises. This call at ports like Singapore, Phuket, Port Klang and Malacca. Extended special cruises include eight days/seven nights and seven days/six nights to Malaysian destinations like Kota Kinabalu and Penang and neighbouring destinations like Yangon (Myanmar), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) and Thai destinations like Bangkok, Koh Samui and Phuket.
EXOTIC PORTS OF CALL
The main ports of call in Malaysia for cruise ships are Malacca, Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur), Penang and Langkawi. Occasionally, cruise ships also drop anchor off the East Coast islands, in particular, Tioman Island. In East Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu is the main port visited by cruise ships. On board, passengers are given a brief introduction to each port of call. For many, it is all they need to start planning future Malaysian holidays.