Monday, October 22, 2012

Singapore's impressive new cruise terminal at Marina Bay

Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister officially opens
the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore

This morning, I sailed into Singapore at about 8 AM on board the Voyager of the Seas, the largest cruise ship currently based in Asia. I'd flown to Bangkok on Friday, taken a car to the port of Laem Chabang near Pattaya, and boarded the ship. Then I'd spent the next three days cruising towards Singapore the slow and enjoyable way.


The main reason I'm now in Singapore is to attend the official opening of the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS), which is an impressive 28,000-square meter cruise terminal that's only minutes away from the city center.

This terminal has been operational since May but it was officially opened today by Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean at a very impressive opening ceremony that included a live artwork demonstration and instant charity auction, great music, a lot of wonderful food and really amazing fireworks that were accompanied by very appropriate music.

The live art demonstration tonight


I got to meet Deputy Prime Minister Teo and have a chat with him, which was quite an honor, considering we were the only Philippine media at the event.

Tonight, he said: "The opening of MBCCS has effectively doubled Singapore's berth capacity to four. With deep water, a large turning basin and no height restrictions, the terminal has the capability to dock ships of up to 220,000 tons and measuring up to 360 metres in length. It is also able to accommodate the newest generation of ocean liners like the Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class ships and the Carnival Dream."


The opening of MBCCS also heralds in innovative services that Singapore hopes will make a trip to Singapore even easier and more comfortable.

For example, there will be a Fly-Cruise-Fly service that will enable a hassle-free check-in with bag transfer. This new service will be offered to passengers entering Singapore by air or sea and departing by another mode of transport.

With the launch of the new cruise terminal, Singapore is expecting over 70 ship calls by the world's major cruise liners including Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard Lines, Costa Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Silversea.

Everyone in the tourism industry in Singapore, as well as from the cruise industry in Asia, was at this event. It was very good to meet so many old friends and make new ones.

The impressive fireworks came at the end and by then, watching it from the huge glass wall, all I could say to myself was: "Wow. Singapore rocks." They certainly know how to prioritize and plan for the long-term, and they definitely know how to put on a great show.


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