Malaysia is set to receive a Dubai-like international cruise terminal that will be one of the largest in Southeast Asia.
The RM40 billion terminal is an idea formed by Royal Caribbean Cruises and KAJ Development.
Designated ‘The Melaka Gateway’ it will include one natural and two man-made islands combined off the coast of Banada Hilir.
Scheduled for completion in 2025, the Gateway will feature a 900-metre proposed berth, which will accommodate three ships. There will also be a 290-metre ferry berth, with daily services to Bengkalis, Dumai and Pekanbaru in Sumatra, Indonesia.
The terminal will be connected to the rest of the complex and mainland Malacca via monorail.
Additional features include an 80-storey, seven-star hotel; a shopping mall with 450 outlet stores; a UNESCO Heritage promenade; a 24-hectare theme park; and the Malaysia Eye – a 100-metre-high ferris wheel offering views of the Melaka Straits.
Melaka Gateway is said to create around 15,000 jobs in Malaysia and will help attract 2.5 million tourists to the state.
Short-term developments in Malaysia’s cruise sector include the return of Star Cruises’ SuperStar Libra to Penang this year.
The 1,400-passenger ship will be homeported from Penang from 23 November.
She will stay until 2 January next year.
During her visit she will sail on a range of short and long itineraries.
Among the itineraries is a one-night cruise from Penang out to sea. There’s also a longer three-night roundtrip with visits in Phuket and Krabi.