PRINCESS Cruises latest vessel, the Majestic Princess, made her maiden call at Swettenham Pier in Penang as part of a 49-day Silk Road Sea Route voyage from Rome to Shanghai.
Stretching 330m long and displacing 143,700 tonnes, she disembarked some 3,560 guests who were welcomed with traditional cultural performances and local fruits at a stall set up by Penang Global Tourism.
The visitors then went on to explore the island’s rich history, culture and tourist attractions with some opting to go on trishaws, while others went by foot.
The recent stopover was the 19-deck ship’s first in Southeast Asia, after setting sail from Colombo two days earlier. In total, she will visit 22 ports before reaching China, her new homeport, in July.
“We are thrilled for Majestic Princess to visit the beautiful island of Penang as her first stop in the region. The ship is fully booked with guests from across the world, mainly those from the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.
“Some guests are from Malaysia and Singapore,” said Farriek Tawfik, Princess Cruises director for Southeast Asia.
Majestic Princess is the third ship in the Royal class of ships — the newest and largest in Carnival Corporation-owned Princess Cruises fleet which also includes the Regal Princess and Royal Princess.
She is the most beautiful and luxurious flagship in our fleet, equipped with world-class facilities like the largest duty-free shopping at sea, specially designed Princess Luxury Beds and specialty dinner menus from Michelin-star awarded chefs, Farriek added.
He believes these features will appeal to Asian travellers. The duty-free boutiques encompass nearly 1,100sq m, while the beds are designed by sleep expert Dr Michael Breus.
Food and beverage options include the Harmony Restaurant, Chopsticks Noodle Bar, and Lobster and Dim Sum bar. There is also an indoor swimming pool that turns into a nightclub once the stars come up.
Guests will also be entertained by the technologically-advanced cinematic Fantastic Journey production show, and be thrilled by a 18m-long cantilevered over-the-ocean glass walkway dubbed SeaWalk.
The Majestic Princess, captained by Dino Sagani, will be embarking on two 14-day Grand Asia voyages from Shanghai to Singapore and back, on Feb 25 and March 11 next year.
Sister vessel Sapphire Princess will also be homeporting in Singapore from November this year to March 2018, during which she will make eight calls to Penang, bringing an expected 20,000 guests for the season.