Asia fastest growing cruising market in the world

Scandinavians are used to relax on short cruises and being spoiled on huge state-of-the-art ferries that cross the Baltic and North seas.      And when Star Cruises introduced a similar concept in South East Asia ten years ago, they started by purchasing a couple of Swedish ferries and hired Swedish officers.      It went just fine.      Today Star Cruises group is the third largest cruising company in the world.      Its operations are run by Nils Nordh, a Swedish national with over 30 years naval experience beginning as navy cadet in the late 1960’s, who joined the group in 1997.      What Scandinavian and Swedish links are there to Star Cruises then?      “It was set up 1993 after buying two Swedish ferries from the Myrsten company, with a full complement of Swedish Officers technical/nautical management. They also created a new building department in Stockholm together with a recruitment office for Scandinavian Officers that today have become Star Cruises AB, the leading manning company in Sweden,” says Nils Nordh.      Together with Norwegian Cruises Line the group now has some 800 Scandinavian Officers employed. The Star Cruise group is owned/controlled by the Tan Sri Lim family through Genting and Resorts World (visit for more about that group).      Nils came on board 1997 after an exciting time in Miami where he first coordinated the Marine Operation functions for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Admiral Cruises, which were to be under joint management, and worked as the Senior Vice President of Royal Caribbean Cruises for almost seven years.      During this period the fleet expanded from 6 to 14 ships.      While in Miami, Nils also became interested in the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce, became chairman of the Florida chapter, and a member of the board at the national level. In Malaysia he has taken on the chairmanship of Masba, the Malaysian-Swedish Business Association.      After he moved to Kuala Lumpur and joined Star Cruises, the company started to grow rapidly.      Star Cruises purchased his former competitors in Miami, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Orient Line, and the group now have some 20 ships and more on order.      Total employees are around 16000.      How has the cruise business in Asia been since 2000?      “The cruise industry in Asia has been experiencing steady growth since 2000 and is the fastest growing in a global context. In this respect Star Cruises is also actively promoting its cruise packages as well as continuously developing new destinations and routes with its fleet of ships positioned in key locations in the region like Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Korea and Taiwan.”      What future prospects are there for the cruise business in Asia?      “The prospects are bright with an increase in affluence levels in the region and a growing acceptance by Asians to cruise as a holiday option.”      Who is the typical Asian cruise traveler?      “The profile generally transcends persons of all age groups, singles, couples and families who are looking for fun and activity-filled short cruise itineraries similar to the 4-day 3-night and 3-day 2-night cruises offered by Star Cruises.”

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  1. […] Star Cruises was incorporated in September 1993 to tap Asia-Pacific’s potential as an international cruise destination. Nine years later it had grown to became the world’s third largest cruise company and won 25 international industry awards.      Today Asian holiday makers see cruising as an exciting and value-for-money vacation. At the same time Star Cruises started the influx of travellers from North America, Europe and Australia, who cruises for a glimpse of the various sights and sounds of Asia-Pacific.      Star Cruises presently operates a combined fleet of 20 ships with over 26,000 lower berths, with cruises to destinations and islands in Asia-Pacific, North and South America, Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, Mediterranean, Bermuda and Antarctica under the Star Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Orient Lines and Cruise Ferries brands.      Vessels operated under the Star Cruises’ brand in Asia-Pacific are SuperStar Leo, SuperStar Virgo, SuperStar Aries, SuperStar Gemini, SuperStar Capricorn, Star Pisces, MegaStar Aries, MegaStar Taurus.      The NCL group operates a fleet of eleven ships under two brands: Norwegian Cruise Line, with nine ships, offers mainstream cruises in the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, Bermuda, and Asia-Pacific.      Orient Lines, with two ships, offers destination-oriented cruises in Europe in the summer months and worldwide, as far as Antarctica, in the fall-through-spring.      Both NCL and Orient Lines market primarily in North America but also extensively in the UK, Europe, South America, and Asia.      The Pride of America – the first of the two Project America vessels – is presently under construction at the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Germany. The 81,000-grt and 2,100 lower berth vessel is expected to commence Hawaii inter-island cruising next year with a “Best of America” theme. The second Project America vessel, which is currently sailing as Norwegian Sky will be renamed Pride of Aloha and will reflect a strong Hawaiian theme which will be accomplished after a refurbishment in September 2004. Both ships will sail under NCL’s new US-flag brand – NCL America sm.      The Cruise Ferries brand which was launched in 2001 presently comprises the m.v. Wasa Queen.      In training her officers, Star Cruises has built its own ship training simulator located within the Star Cruises Terminal, Port Klang complex. Completed in 1998, the Star Cruises Ship Simulator Centre (SCSS) is the only one of its kind in the world owned by a shipping company. The operation of the Centre is a joint-business agreement between Star Cruises and the renowned Danish Maritime Institute. Read also the interview with Nils Nordh on […]

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