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Star Cruises adds European Itineraries for first time

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 18 November 2005

Star Cruises is to have, for the first time, a ship based in the Eastern Mediterranean during the summer 2006 season. Currently sailing from the homeport of Mumbai , India, the 1,480-passenger capacity SuperStar Libra will reposition to the homeport of Valletta, Malta in June 2006.

The deployment to the Eastern Mediterranean follows from SuperStar Libra’s season in India which ends in May 2006. To dovetail with the Eastern Mediterranean deployment, her season in India will be extended from end April to late May 2006. SuperStar Libra will then proceed with her relocation cruise on 21 May 2006 from Mumbai with showcases at Dubai and Bahrain before arriving at her homeport of Valletta , Malta on 6 June 2006.

“Going forward, as part of our fleet deployment and product development strategy, we have identified SuperStar Libra as the vessel to be based in Eastern Mediterranean and marks the expansion of the Star Cruises brand into further international markets backed by the Asian-style hospitality that we are well known for”, said Mr. Chong Chee-Tut, Star Cruises’ Chief Operating Officer.

“The summer 2006 deployment will offer more interesting and different itineraries and from an international point of view, Star Cruises will also be selling the SuperStar Libra Eastern Mediterranean cruises in its core markets in Asia Pacific and the Middle East in addition to the European market. This is part of Star Cruises’ ongoing strategy to contribute to the growth of the international cruise market by increasing the awareness of cruising in the Mediterranean to a wider base”, added Mr. Chong.

SuperStar Libra’s seasonal deployment in India is from October to May during which sea and weather conditions are more ideal. “Bearing in mind the monsoon season on the west coast of India in the summer months, Star Cruises has been evaluating the viability of various options before arriving at the decision. Further, her being based in Mumbai has facilitated the decision as the deployment distance has been reduced and fits in with the company’s deployment strategy timelines and objectives”, added Mr. Chong.

SuperStar Libra will be the first ever ship in the Star Cruises Asian fleet to operate in Europe. Most cruises will depart from the homeport of Malta.

Ports of call on the new Eastern Mediterranean cruises are scheduled to include Rome (Civitavecchia), La Spezia (for Florence and Pisa), Olbia, Naples, Venice and Messina (Sicily) in Italy; Athens (Piraeus), Santorini, Corfu and Crete in Greece; Valetta in Malta; Istanbul and Izmir in Turkey; Dubrovnik in Croatia; and Alexandria in Egypt.

Cruises available in the Eastern Mediterranean will range from seven to twelve-nights and Star Cruises is currently working closely with travel partners, such the Maltese Tourism Board, tour operators, cruise specialist agents and airlines, to ensure these new cruises are on sale from early 2006.

The SuperStar Libra features a range of leisure facilities including swimming pool and jacuzzis, outdoor golf driving range, basketball court, jogging track, fully equipped gym with sauna, beauty salon, children’s play room and karaoke lounge.

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