The Marina Bay Cruise Center Singapore (MBCCS) at Marina South officially opened today.

The 28,000-square-meter terminal, which is operated by SATS-Creuers Cruise Services, saw its first ship dock on 26 May this year and is set to welcome more vessels as Singapore cements its status as a regional cruise hub.

Sembawang Shipyard sponsored the official opening festivities.

The celebrations commenced with speeches by Edmund Cheng, chairman of SATS, and Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who was the guest of honor for the event.

In his speech, Cheng highlighted that “MBCCS is expecting over 70 calls, including Azamara, Celebrity, Costa, Cunard, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Silversea. This will translate into a passenger traffic of more than 200,000 from now until March 2013. With inter-Asian travel increasing and the cruise industry being one of the fastest growing segments of the travel and leisure sector, more ships are expected to call at the terminal going forward.”

Meanwhile, in his speech, Deputy Prime Minister Teo stated that as Asia grows in affluence, there is great potential for growth in the Asian cruise industry.

The Singapore Tourism Board recently conducted a survey of potential cruise travellers in eight Asia-Pacific countries. Over eight in 10 of the respondents who had not previously experienced cruise travel indicated that they plan to do so.”

Also attendance the opening event was S Iswaran, minister, Prime Minister’s Office, and second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry, and Chew Choon Seng, chairman of the Singapore Tourism Board.