The 2,670-passenger Sapphire Princess will make Singapore its new homeport in November 2014. This means that the ship will be based at Marina Bay Cruise Centre and will dock here during the off-peak season. Its parent company Princess Cruises made this announcement on Tuesday.
This 116,000 tonne ship here is expected to contribute $50 million to the local economy, taking into account passenger and crew spending, travel agent commissions and marketing costs. During its first season from November 2014 to February 2015, it is expected to ferry 40,000 passengers.
Their move to Singapore reflects the brisk growth of the cruise industry in Singapore and South-east Asia.
According to the Singapore Tourism Board, the number of cruise passengers to Singapore stood at 907,000 in 2012 - a compounded annual growth rate of 6.5 per cent since 2003.