Star Cruises has announced that the 50,764-ton SuperStar Aquarius has launched her second seasonal deployment in Sanya with more than 1,300 guests onboard. Star Cruises was the first international cruise line to homeport in Sanya when SuperStar Aquarius inaugurated her first Sanya deployment last year.

The Sanya Tourism Development Commission staged a festive ceremony at the Phoenix International Cruise Terminal to celebrate the kick-off of SuperStar Aquarius’ second seasonal deployment. In attendance were Sanya Municipal Government Executive Vice Mayor Mr Lin Dong, Star Cruises Chief Operating Officer Mr William Ng and respected tourism officials, who welcomed the first batch of passengers for their voyage with SuperStar Aquarius.

At the welcome ceremony in Sanya, Mr Lin said, “SuperStar Aquarius’ first seasonal deployment in November last year introduced cruising as a new holiday option in Sanya, and marked the beginning of Sanya’s path of becoming an international cruise homeport. The vessel offered three cruises per week from Sanya to Vietnam and hence contributed to the growth of our tourism development. We are grateful for Star Cruises’ continued support.”

He added, “We believe that SuperStar Aquarius’ second Sanya deployment will continue to highlight Sanya’s rich tourism resources to regional and international markets. Working towards becoming an international cruise homeport, the Sanya Municipal Government and related departments will extend our full support to Star Cruises, ensuring another successful deployment.”

Star Cruises COO Mr Ng expressed gratitude to the Hainan Provincial Government and Sanya Municipal Government for their ongoing support. He remarked that the measure which facilitated Hainan ID cardholders to cruise to Vietnam with Cross Border Pass bode well for Star Cruises' deployments in Hainan. It also benefitted the overall development of Hainan cruise industry. He hoped that the measure would be extended across the country to further bolster Hainan and Sanya as an international cruise hub and homeport.

In addition, Mr Ng said, "We are delighted to announce that SuperStar Gemini, which is currently undergoing a US$50 million refurbishment, will join our fleet to offer Sanya-homeported cruises in February and March 2013. Deploying our newest vessel to Sanya signifies our commitment to play a pivotal role in growing Sanya as a cruise hub. We are privileged to contribute to attracting domestic and regional passengers to Sanya and boost local tourism."

As a global leading leisure, entertainment and hospitality enterprise, Genting Hong Kong continues to leverage the strength of our various businesses to partner with and raise funds for charitable entities and local communities. Star Cruises has now teamed up with The Chinese Athletes Educational Foundation to launch a number of fund-raising activities as part of SuperStar Aquarius’ deployment celebrations. Star Cruises is proud to partner with the Foundation which uniquely aims at supporting Chinese athletes in areas such as the education of sports management, foreign languages and entrepreneurship. The Foundation also engages athletes to help develop children education in poverty-stricken areas.

Under this partnership, three acclaimed Chinese Olympic gold medalists – the gymnast Li Xiaopeng and divers Li Na & Hu Jia – joined the Nov 2 cruise and helped the charity sale of 2,000 Genting Hong Kong-sponsored CDs featuring renowned Asian artist Eric Moo. In addition, the Foundation has donated a number of special items for onboard auctions, including the autographed badminton racket of the gold medalist Lin Dan, the uniforms of the London Olympic Chinese diving champions, commemorative stamp packs of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Foundation’s mascot dolls.

Besides meeting well-known athletes, guests of the first sail were invited to the concert by popular singer Li Huizhen, as part of the second deployment celebration.

Star Cruises was the first international cruise line that homeported in Sanya with the deployment of SuperStar Aquarius to the city last year. In this winter season, SuperStar Aquarius will offer 3-night Sanya / Halong Bay / Danang cruises and 2-night Sanya / Halong Bay cruises. Star Cruises has also added special cruises sailing from Sanya to Hong Kong, meeting prevailing market demands.