GEORGE TOWN, May 5 — Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd may consider making Penang the home port for its cruise ships once the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal is extended.
Royal Caribbean Singapore and South-east Asia Managing Director Sean Treacy said this may not be in the company’s short- to medium-term plans yet, but there is still a possibility.
“We might consider making Penang a home port after the pier is extended to be able to accommodate two large cruises at one time,” he said.
Treacy said his company is still in discussions with Penang Port on the expansion plan for the cruise terminal.
“So far, we are still in the early stages of planning the expansion,” he told reporters in a press conference on board the Voyager of the Seas that berthed in George Town today.
Royal Caribbean and Penang Port Sdn Bhd recently formed a joint venture to expand the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal here.
Treacy said the plans included extending the existing cruise berths so that they could simultaneously host two large cruise ships that carry more than 4,900 passengers each.
The current cruise berths extend to only 400 metres and can only accommodate one large cruise ship and a smaller one on the opposite side.
The expansion plans will mean an extension to 688 metres along with upgrades to the terminal building and car park.
The whole project is expected to cost around US$35 million (RM151.9 million) in which Penang Port will hold 60 per cent stake in the project while Royal Caribbean 40 per cent.