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Singapore to double number of cruise berths to four by 2010

Singapore’s international cruise infrastructure will double in capacity by the year 2010 when the new International Cruise Terminal at Marina South becomes operational. The two berths at the new facility will be able to accommodate the largest ships both currently in service as well as on the order books with a capacity of 5,400 (the Genesis-class ships), complementing the current two berths at the Singapore Cruise Centre at HarbourFront.  The terminals are only a 10- to 15-minute drive from each other.

Both facilities will also significantly increase Singapore’s cruise passenger handling capacity and help to meet Singapore’s target of achieving 1.6 million cruise passenger throughput by 2015.  Singapore Cruise Centre reported a cruise passenger throughput of over 943,000 in 2007, an increase of more than 10 per cent over the 857,000 passenger throughput achieved in 2006.

The Singapore Tourism Board is hoping to tap into the already buoyant UK Cruise market, which showed record growth in 2007, with 1.3 million Britons taking cruises in 2007 – an 11% increase on 2006.  This figure is expected to increase to 1.5 million passengers in 2008.  The biggest growth in 2007 was in the fly-cruise market, up by 17% from 2006 to 879,000.  The Far East and Australia showed a 51% increase.

Singapore Tourism Board Area Director for Northern and Western Europe Ms Divya Panicker said: “More and more UK and European visitors are choosing Singapore as their preferred destination for a cruise holiday.  We continue to see record breaking visitor figures from the UK to Singapore and we hope to see this trend to continue, particularly with cruise visitors wanting to explore the region from Singapore.”

Key Features of Singapore’s International Cruise Terminal

The planned International Cruise Terminal will be located at Marina South, which has deep waters, a large turning basin and no height restrictions, enabling it to accommodate the largest cruise ships being built now. The facility will be able to berth ships of up to 220,000 GRT and measuring up to 360m (1,181 feet) in length with a draft of up to 11.5m (37.73 feet). They will be served by a terminal building designed to ensure efficient operations and a seamless visitor experience. Ancillary commercial services are envisaged to also be provided within the terminal building. The development will be served by a network of roads and a future link to the underground rail transport system. Cruise passengers can look forward to easy access and seamless connection to other parts of Singapore, including Changi International Airport which is a 20-minute drive away.

Singapore: Cruise Hub of Asia

The enhanced cruise infrastructure will allow Singapore to capitalise on the global and Asian market growth of the cruise industry. The Ocean Shipping Consultants has projected that Asia (Greater China, South Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia) can expect a 44 per cent growth in cruise passengers from 1.07 million in 2005 to 1.54 million by 2010. By 2015, the number of Asian cruise passengers is expected to hit 2.02 million, an 88.79 per cent growth over 2005.

Recognising this growth potential, cruise operators are offering a wide range of itineraries within Asia. Leveraging on Singapore’s strategic location between major international maritime routes, and its excellent air connectivity to more than 190 destinations in 60 countries worldwide, a number of cruise companies have chosen to base themselves in Singapore to strengthen their Asian presence. Several of the world’s top cruise lines, such as Star Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Costa Cruises, P&O Princess and Silversea Cruises have made Singapore the homeport or marquee port for their Asian ship deployments. RCI and Silversea Cruises also opened offices in Singapore last year to play a more significant role in Asia.

In addition, Singapore will be port-of-call for a host of ships in 2008, including Cunard’s Queen Victoria on her maiden world cruise, and ships from Princess Cruises, P&O, Oceania Cruises, Holland America Line and Crystal Cruises.

Complementing Marina Bay’s Necklace of Attractions

The International Cruise Terminal will be easily accessible to Marina Bay, Singapore’s new Downtown and financial services hub, and its necklace of attractions. The S$240 million (£86 million) 165-metre (541.34 feet) tall Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest observation wheel opened this month and offers panaromic views of Marina Bay and the Singapore city skyline, as well as a complete leisure experience with its supporting retail, dining, and live entertainment options.

The circuit for the inaugural 2008 FORMULA 1TM SingTel Singapore Grand Prix will be the venue for the world’s first Formula One night race and Asia’s first street race on the Formula One™ calendar on 28 September 2008.

The S$5 billion (£1.8 billion) Marina Bay SandsTM Integrated Resort, developed by Las Vegas Sands Corporation, will house Singapore’s first casino, extensive convention facilities, three hotel towers, and world-class retail, dining and entertainment when it opens in 2009. Singapore’s first reservoir in the city will offer a new recreational and lifestyle attraction when the Marina Barrage is fully operational in 2009. The first phase of the 101-hectare (249.6 acres) Gardens by the Bay in the heart of the city will also be completed in 2010, and will feature waterfront gardens, green sanctuaries and scenic settings.

In early 2010, the Resorts World at Sentosa Integrated Resort will open. Developed by Genting International at over S$6 billion (£2.2 billion), it will comprise Universal Studios Singapore, the theme park’s only Southeast Asia facility, six themed hotels, the world’s largest marine life park, a maritime museum, convention facilities as well as various retail, dining, spa, entertainment and gaming options.

With these developments and the targeted completion of the International Cruise Terminal, 2010 is shaping up to be a banner year for tourism for Singapore, and for cruise in particular. They will help Singapore achieve its targets of 17 million visitor arrivals and S$30 billion in tourism receipts by the year 2015.

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