Star is starting to build up in Asia once again. (photo Brian Cocker)With five ships, a newbuild on the way, a recent big-budget refurbishment program, and new homeports, Star Cruises is underlining its leadership position in the Asia/Pacific market.

“Starting this November we will deploy the 1,511-passenger SuperStar Aquarius from Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), calling at Brunei’s Bandar Seri Begawan and Sarawak’s Bintulu,” said William Ng, chief operating officer.

“We expect the new deployment to not only expand our footprint but also introduce another dimension of travel fun to our cruise passengers.”

And before that, the SuperStar Gemini repositioned to Xiamen in October for a new deployment program for the cruise line, sailing to Keelung, Penghu, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Hong Kong, Boracay and Manila.

Launching two decades ago, Star has gone from start-up to established player, and Ng said he will continue to focus on key source markets in the future such as Southeast Asia, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and greater China.

“India is of particular interest to us as we have recorded a 44.5 percent growth of Indian passengers from 2008 to 2012,” Ng continued. “This again can be attributed to our understanding of their holiday preferences, especially in F&B, entertainment and shopping.”

>> Also in this section: In-depth analysis of every major Asia-Pacific cruise operator, a look at travel agent distribution, port options in China, and port news from the entire region, along with Malaysia’s potential as a cruise destination

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Fall 2013