Star Cruises and Singapore Cruise Centre Pte Ltd (SCC), Asia’s leading cruise terminal operator, have entered into a strategic partnership that will make it more attractive for Star Cruises’ fleet to use Singapore as a hub for its cruise business.

Under an Agreement signed between Genting Hong Kong Chief Operating Officer (Cruise) William Ng and SCC President/CEO Cheong Teow Cheng, Star Cruises will secure priority berthing rights at SCC’s International Passenger Terminal at HarbourFront in Singapore.

The move marks a major milestone in a mutually beneficial relationship which goes back to 1993 when Star Cruises became SCC’s first cruise liner customer.

The Agreement runs for 10 years and gives Star Cruises the commercial and financial incentives to expand its presence in Singapore at a time when its affiliated company, Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), one of two integrated resorts in Singapore, is helping to attract tourists from the region to the Republic at record levels.

This July, tourist arrivals to the island reached an all-time high of one million, according to Singapore government statistics.

SCC’s International Passenger Terminal (IPT) at HarbourFront is near RWS, Singapore’s first integrated resort wholly owned by Genting Singapore PLC. The proximity of RWS to the IPT and the berthing advantage provided under the Agreement will combine to give the Genting Group greater flexibility to cross-market its offerings to cruise and integrated resort customers.

Commenting on the Agreement, Genting’s Mr Ng said: “We are delighted to have sealed this deal with Singapore Cruise Centre. In our 17 years’ relationship with Singapore Cruise Center, we have always worked together to ensure customers’ satisfaction.

“Singapore is already the home port for our Asia flagship, SuperStar Virgo. Currently, we sail from Singapore three times a week and SuperStar Libra will also join SuperStar Virgo to be home ported in Singapore for a seasonal deployment beginning from 6 November 2010. As we are confident that Singapore will continue to grow as a cruise launch-pad to the region, this Agreement also demonstrates Star Cruises’ long term commitment to Singapore’s cruise industry.”

SCC’s Mr Cheong added: "This landmark Agreement is built upon a strong relationship and shared vision. It is the outcome of extensive on-going dialogues with a valued client who wants to be in a vantage position to tap the exciting potential in the cruise industry, and our desire to provide the best cruise infrastructure and the quickest turnaround to meet their expanding scale of business.

"I’m glad that we are able to reach an agreement that has demonstrated to our oldest customer that a relationship built on loyalty, trust and reliability achieves long-term benefits. Beyond this, the partnership will also give a boost to the already booming tourism sector in Singapore.”

Over the years, SCC and Star Cruises have grown in tandem. SCC saw a record 900 ship calls and 1.14 million passenger throughput in 2009.