Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) will collaborate with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) in a joint venture to upgrade and improve Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal(SPCT) in Georgetown, Penang, to accommodate berthing of larger cruise ships at its facilities. The 60/40 joint venture will be jointly managed by both parties, with the majority stake held by PPSB.
Plans for the facilities include extension of the existing berths to 688 metres from its current length of 400 metres. This will enable the terminal to berth two mega cruise liners carrying over 4,900 passengers each at any one time, in line with the industry requirement as Penang comes of age as a "choice port of call" for international cruise operators.
In addition, the redevelopment will include spaces for tour buses to ease the flow of traffic in the areas around SPCT. The USD35 million project will further focus on improving accessibility for the aged and physically challenged throughout the terminal from ship to shore.
This planned development has received unyielding support from both State and Federal government and associated government agencies including Tourism bodies, and will be a focal part of Malaysian Tourism EPP6 plan to create a "Straits and Borneo Cruise Riviera".
This joint venture between RCL and PPSB, will showcase Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage site to a fast-growing tourism market, the "water tourists" that travel the world on luxury cruise liners. The ability to handle more and larger cruise vessels in Swettenham Pier will entrench Penang as a major cruise destination in the region.
RCL is scheduled to make 38 calls in Penang in 2017.