Princess Cruises, one of Asia’s most popular cruise lines, has included sailings to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia. The east Malaysian port will now features in the lines’ itineraries for 2016/17 as well as 2017/18.
In total, there will be eight ships calling at Kota Kinabalu during Princess Cruises’ homeporting season in Southeast Asia.
The Diamond Princess which has the largest Japanese spa at sea, last week, called at Kota Kinabalu during a 10-night Southeast Asia voyage from Singapore to Vietnam’s Nha Trang.
Farriek Tawfik, the Director of Princess Cruises in Southeast Asia told reporters during a media briefing that the cruise line has been looking at the beautiful destination for some time.
“We are venturing here because the Malaysian government has identified Kota Kinabalu as one of the three ports in the country that has significant potential to attract more visitors,” he said.
“Princess Cruises is answering this call by bringing in inbound tourists to experience first-hand Kota Kinabalu’s many historical landmarks and attractions in our specially curated shore excursions.”
Mr Tawfik also said Princess Cruises had been looking at making Kota Kinabalu a port of call for the last three years.
“We took two to three years to explore and do our research on what Kota Kinabalu has to offer and we realised there is big potential.
“This also included ensuring that port facilities met our needs.”
During the 2017-17 sailing period, the Diamond Princess will be making four stops at Kota Kinabalu. The ship will dock for seven hours before sailing to Vietnam.
Other Malaysian ports including in this season include Penang, Port Klang and Langkawi.
Princess Cruises has organised a number of shore excursions in Kota Kinabalu including visits to Mount Kinabalu Park, Dusan villages, Mari Mari Cultural Village, Sabah Museum, City Mosque and more.
The Sapphire Princess, which is returning to Singapore for its fourth homeporting season will also visit Kota Kinabalu.