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Wednesday, June 8, 2016, Jaistha 25, 1423 BS, Ramadan 2, 1437 Hijri

Luxurious, hi-tech cruise liner is on maiden voyage
Observer Online Desk
Published :Wednesday, 8 June, 2016,  Time : 8:09 PM  View Count : 13
George Town: The most technologically advanced cruise ship in the world berthed at the Swettenham Pier on her maiden voyage, with 5,738 passengers and crew members aboard.

The 18-deck US$1bil (RM4.06bil) Ovation of the Seas, said to be one of biggest liners in the world, sailed in here from Kochi, India at 7am yesterday.

The nine-hour stopover allowed the 4,091 passengers and 1,647 crew members a welcome shore break. They chartered 41 buses, four vans and two cars to cover as much of Penang as possible.

The vessel weighs 168,666 tonnes and has 2,090 staterooms.

Royal Caribbean International managing director (Singapore and Southeast Asia) Sean Treacy said this was the most technologically advanced cruise ship in the seven seas, with gadgets and gizmos throughout to give passengers “the paradise holiday of their dreams”.

“She will make six more calls to Penang next March and April, bringing thousands more tourists to the island,” he said, adding that 2017 will see 32 calls from Royal Caribbean liners.

Ovation of the Seas boasts technology such as fully-automated robot arms that make cocktails. Other robotic arms spin giant LCD panels for creative video performances in a disco-cafe.

Satellite-based Wi-Fi keeps all aboard online at broadband speeds in the middle of the ocean.

In the interior staterooms, 2m-high HDTV screens mimic windows and display real-time footage of the ocean and port manoeuvres captured by external cameras.

There are also adrenaline-inducing games on board, including a skydiving simulator, glass capsule at the end of a crane arm to lift 14 people almost 100m above sea level, indoor bumper car rides, roller-skating rink and a circus school where passengers can learn to be jugglers or flying trapeze artists during the long days at sea.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab welcomed the ship at the port.

The Star Online/RI

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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