Travel to Melaka


MALACCA: The construction of the Malacca International Cruise Terminal, part of the Melaka Gateway project, will kick off in three months and is expected for completion in 2017.

Malacca Transport, Project Rehabilitation and International Trade committee chairman, Datuk Lim Ban Hong, said the terminal would be able to accommodate four large cruise ships simultaneously.

“We are targeting 250 cruise ships to dock at the terminal per year by 2020 and bring in a strong economic impact to the state,” he told reporters in Malacca on Thursday.

He said this after a visit to the terminal construction site with KAJ Development Sdn Bhd chief executive officer, Datuk Michelle Ong and Luis Ajamil from project consultant, The Royal Carribean.

The RM40bil Melaka Gateway, near Pulau Melaka, is developed by KAJ Development and is the largest man-made island project in South-East Asia.

Among the planned facilities are a marina for yachts, luxury condominiums, bungalows with private marina, tourist eco-parks, theme parks and ports for cruise ships.

“Most tourists travel by land, but with the Melaka Gateway, we will be able to attract more tourists via the sea. This is part of the state’s Transport Development Master Plan,” Lim said.

Meanwhile, Ajamil said Melaka Gateway was the third entity that the Royal Caribbean had collaborated with for jetty construction and development project after Miami and New York in the United States.

“Normally, research on waves, ocean depth, soil conditions and waves flows takes four years but Malacca Gateway only took about two years from 2014,” he said. – Bernama

Tourism Malaysia

HK’s new luxury cruise terminal

Repurposed: The former Kai Tak International Airport is now a luxury cruise terminal.Repurposed: The former Kai Tak International Airport is now a luxury cruise terminal.

Hong Kong’s old airport is now a contemporary seaport.

HONG KONG opened a US$1.1bil (RM3.5bil) cruise terminal at the site of its former airport on Wednesday in a bid to become Asia’s hub for luxury liners.

The new terminal, built on the runway of the old Kai Tak airport, will be able to accommodate the largest cruise ships in the world – liners of up to 220,000 gross tonnes.

�Kai Tak was the site of our legendary airport and is now turning a historic page by connecting Hong Kong with the rest of the world through the seven seas,� said Commissioner of Tourism, Philip Yung.

“With the addition of this new facility, Hong Kong is in full gear to receive mega cruise ships,� said Yung.

Royal Caribbean’s 1,020 feet (310m) long Mariner Of The Seas was the first mega luxury cruise liner to dock at the two-berth terminal, which boasts a 360° panoramic view of the city. A troupe of lion dancers welcomed more than 3,000 passengers as they disembarked.

“Our favourite port was Venice. You beat Venice,� George Lamson, a 74-year-old artist from the United States, told reporters, adding he was amazed by the views as the ship entered the city’s famed Victoria Harbour.

“We feel privileged to have this honour,� 65-year-old retiree from Britain, Valerie Blakeway, said of being amongst the first visitors to the terminal.

The former Kai Tak International Airport was considered one of the most challenging places to land an aircraft due to its central location in the city and tall mountains surrounding it.

The airport closed in 1998 after being in service for over 70 years and was replaced by the current Chek Lap Kok International Airport.

The cruise terminal will open to the public in the third quarter of the year with its second berth opening in 2014.– AFP RelaxNews