In order to accommodate larger ships, the work will start next year to restructure the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT).
Angie Stephen, Managing Director Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL) for the Asia Pacific confirmed that the reconstruction project had been approved while a building partner and concessionary have also been confirmed.
"Now, we are only tying up a few loose ends of the last minute, and we are expecting construction to begin in two to three months," she told reporters here today after the annual docking of RCL's cruise vessel, Quantum of the Seas.
She added that it was the signing in September last year of a joint venture agreement between the Port of Penang Bhd (PPSB) and RCL to refurbish the SPCT for the accommodation of larger ships that would take approximately 12 months to complete.
The renovation will include a 220m expansion of the new 400m SPCT berth and a 118m long dolphin.
The terminal is expected to handle two large cruise ships at its outer berths at the same time, along with a small ship and a medium-size ship at its internal berths.
Stephen noted that the access to ports for cruise ships to dock was one of the biggest obstacles to the growth of cruise tourists industries in South East Asia and he said that RCL ships are getting bigger and to boost passenger experience
"With regard to available infrastructure, I think that Penang is one step ahead of many other places," she says, adding that cruise tourism has plenty in the area because of reports that show that less than one percent of Asians are subject to cruising.
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