SINGAPORE’s second cruise terminal, Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS), is expected to reinforce the country’s position as an international cruise hub once it becomes fully operational by the second half of the year.
The 28,000m2 facility, which will be operated by SATS-Creuers Cruise Services, has effectively doubled Singapore’s berth capacity. Featuring 80 check-in counters and up to 40 immigration counters, the terminal will be able to handle up to 6,800 passengers at a time.
Though not yet opened to the public, the terminal is scheduled to welcome its first ship, Royal Caribbean International’s 3,840-pax Voyager of the Seas, on May 26 (TTG Asia e-Daily, September 13, 2011).
Singapore’s Second Minister for Trade and Industry, S Iswaran, told reporters during a media preview yesterday that the country was well-positioned to capitalise on the booming cruise industry in Asia, due to its ideal geographic location and excellent air connectivity.
“The MBCCS is a key infrastructure piece of Singapore’s tourism landscape. With MBCCS, more cruise ships will be able to homeport and call on Singapore and Asia. Moreover, people come to Singapore in order to board their cruise ship, or disembark in Singapore before going home, which means the fly cruise component is quite important,” he said.
According to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), cruise visitor numbers to Singapore declined over the past two years, but are expected to rise to 1.5 million over the next three to five years, up from one million in 2011.
Aw Kah Peng, STB’s departing chief executive, said: "Numbers have fallen and it's partly because the (cruise) industry is restructuring. After the two integrated resorts opened, gaming ships no longer made any sense. But I think the structural adjustment is at an end, and now, we’re seeing more interest from cruise ships that are not gaming ships.”