Cruise Line Guide: Star Cruises

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Controlling much of the Pacific-Asia cruise market, Star Cruises is the third largest cruise line in the world after Royal Caribbean and Carnival Corporation, with a total of eighteen ships in its fleet. The cruise line offers more cruises in Asia-Pacific regions than any other cruise line, making it a popular choice for holidaymakers travelling to Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, China, Indonesia and Malaysia.

For those considering booking an Asian or Pacific cruise holiday with Star Cruises, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the cruise line, including key facts, fleet history and information on three of their most popular ocean liners.

Star Cruises’ Quick Facts

• Founded in Hong Kong, 1993
Headquarters: Hong Kong, Asia
Fleet Size: 18 Ships in Service
Ship Classes: Star, SuperStar, Leo
Largest Vessel: SuperStar Virgo (75,388 tons)
Destinations: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam

History

Founded in 1993, Star Cruises began life as a branch of Malaysia’s Genting Group, and initially acquired second-hand vessels from bankrupted ferry and cruise companies. It wasn’t until 1998 that Star commissioned its first ever new build, which was to be christened SuperStar Leo. The very next year, Star introduced a second new ship to its fleet, increasing its overall fleet capacity by a further 3,000 passengers.

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In 2000, Star Cruises made history after it completed an acquisition of Norwegian Cruise Line and its subsidiaries, making it the world’s first global cruise line. Soon after the takeover, Norwegian’s Australia-based Capricorn Line merged into the Star Cruises fleet – dramatically increasing Star’s exposure to the Australian cruise market.

In the subsequent years, Star Cruises continued to expand its fleet, taking on older vessels from Norwegian when new ships were introduced. The cruise line also launched a sister brand which it dubbed Cruise Ferries. Cruise Ferries comprised of one vessel, Wasa Queen, and offered short trips and gambling cruises from Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.

After updating its livery, Star Cruises acquired NCL’s Norwegian Dream in 2012, joining the line as Star Pisces. In 2013, the cruise line announced plans to introduce two brand new ships to its fleet, both of which will have a capacity of around 4,000 passengers. The vessels are expected to join the Star Cruises’ fleet in Autumn 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Guests

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With fabulous entertainment and a non-intrusive approach to dining and passenger attire, Star Cruises offer flexible, relaxed holidays for families, couples and groups. Whilst international passengers are welcome aboard all Star Cruises vessels, you might consider booking a stay aboard the SuperStar Virgo, as it attracts a varied roster of passengers from across the globe whilst offering the same Asian-twist synonymous with all Star Cruises’ vessels.

Ships

With a varied fleet of new and reconditioned ships in an assortment of sizes, Star Cruises have a vessel for every occasion – from long voyages at sea to island hopping close to the shore. Here, we look at three of the line’s most popular vessels, to give you a taste of what awaits aboard a Star cruise liner.

SuperStar Virgo 

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Built for Star Cruises in 1995 by German shipbuilder Meyer Werft, SuperStar Virgo is a 75,388-ton vessel, and is currently the largest ship in the Star Cruises’ fleet. Virgo cruises from Singapore on 1-3 night cruises, with port calls including Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

The ship has a total passenger capacity of 1,870 and features 935 5-star interior and exterior cabins. Like all Star Cruises’ ships, Virgo has a wide range of dining and entertainment options, including ten bars and restaurants, five entertainment facilities and a further five sports, fitness and wellbeing centres.

The Taipan

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Built to provide exclusive sailings to a range of exotic Asian destinations, The Taipan is a small ship weighing in at 3,370 tons and featuring just thirty-two cabins. Capable of carrying a total of 132 passengers, this small, streamlined vessel was designed to provide a premium cruise experience for parties, conferences and incentive related excursions.

Despite its size, The Taipan is surprisingly well-equipped, with three restaurants and bars, a large gymnasium, hair-salon and foot spa. Strangely, the vessel also features a miniature submersible, which guests can hire to explore the seabed.

SuperStar Libra

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With its resort-style approach to dining, SuperStar Libra offers a relaxed and flexible holiday experience for its passengers. Staff aboard this 42,285-ton vessel are non-intrusive, yet will still provide an excellent level of service as and when it is required.

With 718 interior and exterior cabins, Libra is capable of carrying up to 1,436 passengers, making it one of the larger ships in the Star Cruises’ fleet. The ship currently homeports in Singapore, with Krabi, Phuket and Hong Kong among its regular ports of call.

Star Cruises in Australia

Whilst Star Cruises do not offer any direct sailings from Australia, the cruise line remains popular with Aussie cruise-goers thanks to its range of affordable Asian cruise holidays. Holidaymakers can board their cruise at a range of destinations across Asia – including Singapore, Taipei, Hong Kong and Penang – offering plenty of flexibility when booking a connecting flight. With a number of two to seven night Asian cruise holidays available, Star Cruises are the perfect choice for those who want to experience an exotic Asian cruise on a budget.

If you’re interested in booking an affordable Asian cruise with Star Cruises, visit the Cruise1st Australia website, where we feature a range of exclusive Star Cruises’ holiday. Alternatively, if you require assistance planning a cruise holiday in Asia, contact the experienced Cruise1st Australia team today on 1300 857 345 and we’ll be happy to help you.

Images sourced via Star Cruises Media Centre. Credit: Star Cruises.

 

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About Author

Alyssa Beit

Alyssa lives in Sydney, NSW. Born on the 14th October and is a Social and Human Service Assistant at Cruise 1st Australia. She is in her early 40’s and loves tranquility on luxury cruises.

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