|Penang Welcomes over 4,000 Guests on Billion-Dollar Smartship Ovation of the Seas’ Maiden Call|
|Written by Administrator II|
|Thursday, 09 June 2016 13:16|
Penang welcomed one of Royal Caribbean International’s newest billion-dollar smartship Ovation of the Seas on the 7 of June, becoming the first port-of-call for the ship in Southeast Asia. She is also carrying the highest number of guests ever onboard a cruise ship calling at Penang, totalling 4,091 guests from around the world.
The ship is on a 14-night cruise from Dubai to Singapore which has also called at Muscat and Cochin. To celebrate the maiden call, a plaque and key ceremony was held with the participation of top local officials namely The Right Honourable Mr. Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang; Yang Berbahagia Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Director General of Tourism Malaysia; Mr Mohamad Puzi bin Mohamad Nazir, Penang Port Commission General Manager; and Dato Syed Mohamad Bin Syed Murtaza, Chairman of Penang Port Sdn Bhd, with Ovation of the Seas’ Captain Flemming Nielsen.
At 347m long, 168,666 gross registered tonnes, and laden with first-at sea features and technologies, Ovation of the Seas joins her sister Quantum of the Seas as the largest in Asia, which has also called at Penang last year. She has a total capacity for 4,905 guests staying in 2,090 staterooms and hosted by 1,500 crew.
At the event, Royal Caribbean also announced that the technologically-advanced smartship will be returning to Penang next year for six more calls in March and April, which is expected to bring thousands more tourists to visit the island.
Royal Caribbean is pleased to bring to Penang today one of the world’s most innovative cruise ships on her first sailing to Asia, and we’re even more thrilled that she will be returning here next year with a bigger bang, with six additional calls. This decision is made possible by the strong support from the local Government and port partners and is driven by the attractiveness of this destination.
Joining Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas, the addition of Ovation of the Seas means Royal Caribbean International will have the largest cruise fleet deployment of any brand both here and in Southeast Asia with new hardware and revitalisations valued at more than US$1 billion.
Royal Caribbean will also continue to make more calls in Penang on its other ships Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas, both of around 3,800-guest capacity in 2017. With the additional calls from all the three ships, this will more than double the number of calls from Royal Caribbean in Penang from 15 this year to 32 next year.
In Southeast Asia, the cruise industry is poised for significant growth. Indeed, in 2014, Malaysia hosted the second highest number of port calls - a total of 505 - second only to Japan with a total of 626 calls in 2014. And within those 505 port calls to Malaysia, Penang has been the leading port for the cruise industry in Malaysia and, together with Port Klang, makes up 46 per cent of the cruise market in Malaysia.
“We’re very excited to welcome Ovation of the Seas for the first time in Penang, and look forward to welcoming more of Royal Caribbean’s ships to our port next year,” said The Right Honourable Mr. Lim.
Guests on board the 18-deck smartship will enjoy the ‘North Star’, an observation capsule that rises 92 metres over the ocean; ‘Two70’ – a RM5.51 million hi-tech entertainment venue; drinks served by robotic bartenders at the ‘Bionic Bar’; skydiving and surfing experiences; interior virtual balcony staterooms with real-time ocean views; luxurious Loft Suites with large living areas and private concierge service; and ‘SeaPlex’, the largest indoor activity space at sea, housing sports, a circus school, roller-skating, bumper cars, and more.
Ovation of the Seas also boasts 18 restaurants with cuisines from around the globe, including imaginative dining at Wonderland, and Jamie’s Italian by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver; the fastest internet connection speeds at sea; and a collection of artwork valued at more than RM18.4 million, including a kinetic moving sculpture and the 33-Foot Panda and Cub statue on the open deck.