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Star Cruises fleet

Star pisces, review of star cruises.

Star Cruises (starcruises.com/sg/en) is owned by Genting Hong Kong (GHK) and is ranked world's 3rd biggest cruise company, following Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD . The company dominates the Asia-Pacific market and is listed on the Singapore Exchange and Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In 2015, GHK introduced the corporation's newest cruise line brand - Dream Cruises . The new company started with 2 newbuilds - both top-luxury mega-liners, built specifically for the Asian / Chinese market.

Another large Chinese cruise brand is the new company (2015-founded) Adora Cruises/CSSC Carnival China Cruise Shipping . At the following link can be found listed all CruiseMapper's news related to Star Cruises owner Genting Hong Kong .

IMPORTANT : On January 19, 2022, the parent company GHK-Genting Hong Kong Ltd (Malaysia) filed for bankruptcy. On Jan 10th, for insolvency filed the two GHK-owned shipbuilding companies in Germany - MV Werften and Lloyd Werft. On Jan 27th, Dream Cruises filed a winding-up petition with the Bermuda Court for liquidation. and the appointment of the provisional liquidators working with GHK.

NEWS : In late-April 2022, was announced that the docked in Malaysia ships Star Pisces (1990-built), SuperStar Gemini (1992) and SuperStar Aquarius (1993) are listed for scrapping and soon to the beached at Alang India . SuperStar Libra (1988) was last AIS reported on April 7th (in Wismar Germany). The three liners' last crew signed off on May 17th, as new/skeleton crew were hired to take them to the scrapyard for dismantling and recycling.

On August 31, 2022, GHK's Star Cruises Asia Holding Ltd announced entering into a SPA/Share Purchase Agreement to sell its wholly-owned Star Market Ltd (100% of its shares) for US$3,5M/RM15,84M to the company Resorts World Inc Pte Ltd. Resorts World is 50-50 owned by Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay (GHK's former Executive Director) and Genting Berhad (Genting Group's parent company, if which Lim Kok Thay holds ~30% shares). Star Market owns trademarks and intellectual property rights.

Company history

The company's introduction on the global cruise shipping market allowed Star Cruises to tap into profitable and more mature markets in Europe and North America. Its services cater to Asian guests, as well as to Europeans, Australians and North Americans, interested in Asian destinations. Star Cruises chairman was Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, son of the late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong (founder of Genting Highlands, Malaysia).

Genting Star Cruises (Asia) logo

Star Cruises was established as an associate of Genting Group of Malaysia, incorporated on November 10, 1993, in Bermuda, with corporate headquarters in Hong Kong China . The first ships of the company were two cruise ferries bought from the bankrupted estate of Swedish Rederi AB Slite. Star Cruises was the world's first major cruise company to recruit Filipinos for its ships.

The company purchased several other used vessels in the following years. In 1998, it took delivery of the first newbuild - SuperStar Leo (now Norwegian Spirit) . Sistership SuperStar Virgo (Explorer Dream/Resorts World One) followed in 1999. The same year Star Cruises acquired Sun Cruises.

In 2000, Star Cruises also acquired NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line) , including the subsidiaries "Norwegian Capricorn Line" and "Orient Lines", becoming the biggest global cruise line in the world. Norwegian Capricorn Line's operations were soon merged into Star Cruises. Before the NCL purchase, Star Cruises had several other newbuilds (either under construction or planned), but following the merger, most of them joined NCL's fleet. However, in August 2007, Star Cruises sold 50% of NCL (for USD 1 billion) to Apollo Management, retaining just 28% stake in NCL.

In 2001, Star Cruises founded the sister company "Cruise Ferries", which started operations in July with the passenger ferry Wasa Queen on short itineraries between Hong Kong and Xiamen. These were followed by overnight gambling cruises - roundtrip from Hong Kong and from Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur). Wasa Queen stopped operating and was sold to another company in 2007, and eventually was scrapped in 2013.

The then-largest ship in the fleet - SuperStar Leo - was transferred in 2004 to Norwegian Cruise Line to take over Norwegian Sky voyages. Since 2006, the trend has been that newbuilds were to be constructed for NCL, and the old ships in the Norwegian fleet would be transferred to Star Cruises fleet in Asia.

In 2008, both Orient Lines and NCL America brands were discontinued, with Orient's sole ship, ms Marco Polo, sold to the Greece-based Global Maritime. The same year, the first ship from NCL Norwegian was transferred to the fleet of Star Cruises as SuperStar Libra .

In 2011, Star Cruises received a brand new hull art. SuperStar Aquarius , Star Pisces , and SuperStar Virgo won their new attire. On April 27, 2012, it was announced that Norwegian Dream will join Star Cruises fleet and be renamed to SuperStar Gemini starting service in 2012.

On October 7, 2013, Star Cruises announced that together with their parent company, Genting Hong Kong had entered into an agreement with Meyer Werft, Germany for the construction of one new vessel. The vessel will be able to accommodate 3,364 passengers at double occupancy and will be delivered in Fall 2016.

On February 10, 2014, Star Cruises announced that a second ship was ordered and scheduled for delivery by Fall 2017. On February 9, 2015, the first steel cutting ceremony was held for Genting World at Meyer Werft shipyard. Both newbuilds will weigh 150,000 GT.

In May 2018, Genting Cruise Lines signed a partnership deal with Wirecard (digital payments / online shop development company) for implementing a fleetwide onboard payment system. The system ("Quick Pay") was first installed on World Dream and Genting Dream, then launched on SuperStar Virgo. "Quick Pay" allows the passenger to be in full control of their onboard money spending - including pre-authorized limits, account management, monitoring, paying the total bill at disembarkation. The technology is based on scanning individual QR codes (during check-in, in staterooms or via the ship's intranet network, then selecting the "Quick Pay" option. Payments can be made via Alipay (Chinese online payment platform) and the credit cards Visa, American Express, Mastercard, Diners Club, JCB, UnionPay. The mobile app allows passengers to set up pre-authorized amounts for themselves, as well as for friends and family members.

On March 2, 2018, via letters and emails sent to all booked customers, GHK announced that the liner SuperStar Libra ends its passenger shipping operations for Star Cruises on June 27, 2018. Since August 2018, the vessel serves as a hotel ship in Wismar (Germany) for the shipbuilding company MV Werften. SuperStar Libra is permanently docked (moored) at MV Werften Wismar shipyard's quay. Since April 2016, GHK fully owns MV WERFTEN - a new company incorporating the 3 Nordic Yards in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern - the shipyards in Rostock , Stralsund , and Wismar.

(new) Genting Global-Class cruise ships

On May 10, 2016, the parent company GHK (Genting Hong) signed with Lloyd Werft Group in Wismar Germany a shipbuilding contract for all 10 new cruise vessels . In 2015, GHK purchased a majority stake in Lloyd Werft (dockyard in Bremerhaven Germany ). In 2016, GHK purchased Lloyd Werft's remaining 30%, plus the three shipyards owned by Nordic Yards (Wismar, Warnemunde, Stralsund), thus forming Lloyd Werft Group.

Genting Star Cruises new ship (Global-Class)

Of the 10 newbuilds, 6 are riverboats plus 2 ocean-going (all 8 for the GHK's subsidiary Crystal Cruises ) and 2 are mega liners (for Star Cruises and Dream Cruises). The new GHK liners are sisterships of the Global-Class, each with gross tonnage 204,000 GT tons, LOA length 341 m (1120 ft) and passenger capacity 5000 (lower berths). Ship deliveries were scheduled for 2020 (for Dream Cruises) and 2021 (for Star Cruises). The ship-order has optional 2 more vessels of the same class.

Global Class ships feature artificial intelligence technologies (including facial and voice recognition for expedited passenger services - boarding, disembarkation, payments), robots (performing mundane tasks), Cineplex (theme park), Asian spa complex, multiple Asian dining venues (including fast food), both affordable and premium retail shopping facilities, roller coaster, water park (with 5 slides), surf simulator. Staterooms are designed for Asian families and can sleep up to 2-4 persons. Most cabins are with two (split) bathrooms. Each liner has 8 sets of escalators and 28 elevators.

Vessel's waste and water management system was provided by Evac (world's leading company building integrated waste-wastewater-water management systems). The company's Complete Cleantech Solution package includes a vacuum collection system, wastewater treatment plant, dry and wet waste treatment plant, freshwater desalination plants (based on reverse osmosis). The freshwater generation plants have the capacity to produce over 3000 m3 of freshwater per day. The contract with Evac was signed on January 3, 2017.

On January 9, 2017, was signed a contract with ABB for delivery of Azipods (power-propulsion units), automation systems and the marine software for all 5 new Genting cruise ships ordered for both brands - Crystal and Star. The 3x Crystal vessels are from the Crystal Endeavor series (polar-class expedition yachts).

These are the first purpose-built ships for the contemporary Chinese market regarding onboard amenities and services (food, cultural events, shows, enrichment programs, shopping, tours/excursions. Cruise ticket prices will be affordable. In May 2019 were unveiled more Global-Class vessel details. The ships will have industry's first theme park at sea, largest cinema at sea, world's longest roller coaster at sea, self-guided robotic assistants, industry's largest standard staterooms (sized 20 m2), Bluetooth cabin door locks, touch-screen control panel, smartphone-control of different en-suite functions (mood lighting, air-conditioning, etc).

On March 8, 2018, at MV Werften shipyard ( Bremerhaven Germany ) started the construction of the first of the two Global-Class Genting cruise liners.

Genting Star Cruises new ship (Global-Class)

The GHK-owned Lloyd Werft Group has the capacity to produce annually 2 mega liners (over 200,000 GT tons each) plus 1 mid-sized vessel (around 50,000 GT tons). Lloyd Werft has 2 new covered drydocks, a new ship launching platform and over 0,5 million m2 of covered fabrication halls.

In December 2018, Genting Cruise Lines announced plans to build smaller-sized (Contemporary-class) ships for Star Cruises from the German shipbuilder MV Werften. The first liner will be delivered in 2023. In 2019, SuperStar Virgo was renamed "Explorer Dream" and transferred to Dream Cruises in April 2019.

Star Cruises shipboard experience

The big appeal to western clients of Star Cruises is that its ships not only take guests around Asia but also let you experience an Asian lifestyle.

"SuperStar" ships were the first to offer the largest number of restaurants afloat. This innovation later passed on to Norwegian's "freestyle dining". SuperStars Virgo and Leo offer Italian, Asian, Japanese and Chinese restaurants. Virgo also has the only Indian restaurant afloat. Naturally, Star Cruises ships offer the usual formal dining room, casual buffets, and poolside grills. All dining venues offer open seating for ultimate flexibility.

Shipboard entertainment features spectacular shows by Chinese acrobats, card rooms (Mah Jong), private rooms for parties, karaoke rooms. Onboard service is friendly, impeccable, discreet. Star Cruises has a no-tipping policy and brags with one of Asian cruising industry's highest crew-to-passenger ratios - one staff member for every two passengers.

Star Cruises predominantly markets Asian travelers. The internationally focused SuperStar Virgo attracted passengers from Japan, Malaysia, Australia New Zealand, as well as adventurous-spirited North Americans and Europeans.

In 2018, Genting Cruise Lines signed an agreement with Okinawa Agricultural Cooperatives Association and Leospo Inc. Following the partnership, on select GHK-owned cruise liners is offered Okinawa-sourced food and local produce.

  • The new onboard dining options include the famous Okinawa Wagyu beef and Okinawa Agu pork. The offer is available on select ships and during summer when they cruise to Okinawa.
  • In 2018 (April through November), these premium food specialties were available on three boats (World Dream, SuperStar Aquarius, SuperStar Gemini, SuperStar Virgo). The exclusive gourmet dishes were served via specially designed theme menus. They also included the traditional Japanese dishes Shabu Shabu (with ingredients stirred in cooking pot) and Teppanyaki (iron griddle cooked food), as well as BBQ Okinawa Agu Pork and the wok-fried Okinawa beef (with bitter gourd garlic) and Okinawa beef rib eye (with sweet plum sauce).

Genting fly-cruise deals

In June 2017, Genting Cruise Lines (grouping the companies Dream Cruises and Star Cruises) and Asia's largest airline "China Southern Airlines" signed a Memorandum of Understanding/MoU on an exclusive "flight and cruise" partnership in China.

  • The deal is for discounted fly-cruise deals on cruises leaving from homeport Guangzhou-Nansha - a premium travel hub and cruise homeport in Asia.
  • By this strategic agreement, both China Southern Airlines and Genting combined their resources in sales, marketing, promotions, and product development, creating a competitive travel product by the new "Air+Cruise+Travel" program. The program targets both individual and group travelers.

Free Birthday cruise

Star Cruises offers free Birthday cruise deals on select ships and departure dates. Company's "Free Birthday Celebrant Package" consists of:

  • Cabin decorations (set up on the embarkation day)
  • 0,5 kg chocolate cake
  • Birthday card
  • Cruise voucher (at the ship's Reception) is applicable at onboard retail shops and spa/wellness outlets. To use the voucher, you need to swipe your access card at the outlets. When you settle your bill during checkout, the voucher's value is deducted from the total amount due.
  • Free Wifi vouchers for 2 passengers for the entire cruise (at the ship's Reception). Wi-Fi connections on Start Cruises ships are available in all public areas and in staterooms.

Genting Cruises Private Island Resort

In early November 2017, GHK corporation signed an agreement with the Macleod Island 's owner "Tint Tint Myanmar Group" (headquartered in Yangon Burma ) to jointly built new cruise ship facilities on this private island.

Cruise line private Islands are among the best-known assets of the world's largest cruise shipping companies ( Carnival Corporation , RCCL-Royal Caribbean , NCL , MSC ). However, most such private island resorts are located in the Caribbean.

GHK's partnering with Tint Tint Myanmar Group makes Macleod Island the first Asian private cruise resort destination. It is opened exclusively for Genting cruise ship tourists visiting the island via ships operated by the GHK-owned Dream Cruises and Star Cruises. Among GHK's other Asian projects are Guangzhou-Nansha Port development (in China) and Port Danang (in Vietnam).

Macleod Island was first visited by a Star Cruises ship (SuperStar Libra) on November 3, 2017. The 5-night / 6-day itinerary also included Penang Malaysia  and Phuket Thailand .

(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021

Despite the global Coronavirus crisis , Genting Cruise Lines (shipowner) didn't suspend its fleet's passenger shipping operations. Instead, the company (parent of Dream Cruises and Star Cruises) expanded its cancellation policy with "Cruise As You Wish". It allowed all existing and new bookings made before or on October 30, 2020 (initially July 31), to be canceled penalty-free up to 48 hours (prior departure).

These bookings were fully refunded (100%) via FCC (future cruise credit). With rebooking, the amount of the fare paid is automatically transferred to any Dream Cruises or Star Cruises itinerary starting before or on March 31, 2021 (initially December 31 2020).

Itinerary of Star Cruises

Following on Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit held in Qingdao, Star Cruises celebrated the inaugural cruise of SuperStar Aquarius from her new homeport Qingdao on June 13, 2018. Guests from the Shandong peninsula and neighboring cities are now able to enjoy journeys to Japanese destinations like Beppu , Fukuoka City , Nagasaki , and Sasebo . The flagship SuperStar Virgo also offered Qingdao homeport itineraries (November 2018 through March 2019).

Star Cruises officially set a record number of homeport deployments done by the same brand in Port Qingdao. By homeporting here SuperStar Virgo, the company became the only cruise line in history to have 2 ships homeported in Qingdao during the same year.

While cruising at sea, passengers enjoy a hassle-free experience onboard SuperStar Aquarius, complemented by Asian hospitality and delicacies unique to Star Cruises. The flagship of Star Cruises, SuperStar Virgo, calls Qingdao homeport starting in November 2018, taking passengers on 4-night voyages to Kagoshima , Fukuoka, and Nagasaki.

Note: Starting operations for Dream Cruises in mid-April 2019, SuperStar Virgo was renamed "MS Explorer Dream" and homeported in Shanghai (China). For the winter season 2020, Explorer Dream was deployed in Australia-New Zealand.

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Star Cruises Set to Restart Operations in Malaysia

  • December 4, 2021

star cruise inc

Genting Cruise Lines, together with Penang Port Commission (PPC) and Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) announced that the Malaysian government has granted approval for Star Cruises to restart operations in Malaysia on Dec. 22 2021 with Star Pisces offering cruises from Penang.

The Star Pisces will have five departures every week, offering a series of roundtrip itineraries from Penang, including a two-night ‘Langkawi Escape’ and a one-night ‘Straits of Malacca’ cruise itinerary.

Genting Cruise Lines said it also plans to launch more ships under the Star Cruises fleet, beginning with Star Pisces in Penang, Malaysia.

Star Pisces will initially operate at a reduced passenger capacity of 50 percent with strict enhanced safety and preventive measures that are in accordance with the local requirements and international standards, according to the news release.

All guests and crew must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. In addition, all embarking guests are required to present a negative test result after completing the mandatory pre-boarding Antigen Rapid Test (ART), which will be conducted at the cruise terminal on the day of the departure.

“As part of Genting Cruise Lines, Star Cruises is excited to pioneer safe cruises in Malaysia and to work hand-in-hand with the ministries under the Malaysian government, together with PPC and PPSB to support the country’s National Recovery Plan (NRP), including Langkawi’s international tourism travel bubble pilot program,” said said Kent Zhu, President of Genting Cruise Lines.

“We hope to call on to more Malaysian destinations and to expand our itineraries with the inclusion of regional destinations like Phuket in the near future to spur the cruise tourism industry. We are also actively pursuing with the various port authorities to create a ‘Harmonize Cruising Standards’ for the region in the hope of gradually re-opening international cruising in a controlled and safe manner, which will also bring inbound tourists to Malaysia, especially from our ship in Singapore,” Zhu said.

“With the approval from the National Security Council (NCS) to restart domestic cruise operations, the cruise industry was given a new lease of life to operate once again. PPC, Genting Cruise Lines, PPSB and the respective Government agencies worked very closely to ensure domestic cruises could resume as soon as possible. PPC believes the cruise packages offered by Star Cruises under Genting Cruise Lines will provide Malaysians with a long-awaited holiday alternative, as traveling abroad is presently restricted. We believe the restart of the domestic cruise operations in a safe manner will further boost the tourism sector, as well as the other supporting sectors. It is PPC’s hope that the domestic cruise operations will run smoothly in accordance with the prevailing SOPs and that international cruises will be allowed to operate in the near future,” said Datuk Tan Teik Cheng, Chairman of PPC.

Star Pisces bookings will be open in mid-December and available to all Malaysian citizens, foreigners with valid Malaysian long-term visit passes, as well as international tourists that had completed and passed the quarantine and home surveillance order by the Malaysian authorities. 

“Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) is delighted to announce that the cruise industry in Malaysia will be staging a comeback on 22 December 2021. This is truly a joyful occasion as we are looking forward to jump-start the cruise services through the government’s Phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan. PPSB will work closely with Star Cruises under Genting Cruise Lines to ensure safe and comfortable cruise trips for everyone. Now more than ever, tourists should no longer be concerned as the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT) has been thoroughly inspected for the passengers’ safety through strict SOP and guidelines to curb COVID-19. By working with Genting Cruise Lines, we intend to revitalise the domestic tourism sector and help it reach new heights in the coming years,” added Dato’ Sasedharan Vasudevan, CEO, Penang Port Sdn Bhd.

“Just like many parts of the world that are experiencing pandemic fatigue, residents in Malaysia also deserve a well-earned break. As such, we look forward to welcoming travellers from Malaysia on Star Pisces and to provide them with a safe and ultimately a memorable ‘Super Seacation’ cruise holiday,” Zhu said. .

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Whale of Asia: Star Cruises Grows Some Girth

  • Travel Intel

By Bill Becken, Senior Cruise Editor

Hong Kong-based Genting HK is certainly an up and coming travel conglomerate. Its Star Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) brands together form the third-largest cruise concern in the world—comprising a fleet of 20 ships cruising to more than 200 destinations. That means they offer nearly 42,000 lower berths to the global cruise market, and mostly in Asia. Star Cruises’ rapid rise leaves little doubt that an Asian firm based in Asia can at least approximate the success of the two global cruise market leaders, Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Naturally, then, says William Ng, chief operating officer, during 2014-2015, Star Cruises will continue to upgrade its fleet, expand itineraries and otherwise develop its potential: “identifying opportunities, within our core competencies and capabilities, to drive our cruise business,” he says. Currently, Star Cruises is the Asia giant with luxury cruises that sail to ports in Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Apart from the fleet’s renovation and redeployment, new onboard shopping venues will help the ships stay successful and prosperous. In this and other ways, says Ng, the value the company brings to the table will be based as much on its unrivalled experience and enthusiasm in, as on its deep understanding of, the Asian market.

The company, says Ng, is in the throes of making heavy growth-oriented investments in both refurbishment and strategic deployment, among other things—all in order to maintain its leading position in developing and serving the Asia-Pacific region as an international cruising destination.

Through most of 2013, the SuperStar Gemini homeported in Shanghai, sailing to destinations in North Asia. The drydocks continued unabated. After a four-week drydock that year, Star Cruises’ SuperStar Libra began offering cruises to Yangon with a range of new shore excursions. Finally, in 2013, the cruise line refurbished and launched the vastly smaller Genting World (formerly the MegaStar Aries) in order to wade into the premium-level market (comprising more-elite customers looking for a unique cruise holiday with small groups of family and friends).

Indeed, by the end of 2013, every member of the fleet had been refurbished within the previous few years. As well, Ng notes, by repositioning the SuperStar Aquarius, “we became the very first global cruise line ever to homeport a ship in Kota Kinabalu.” Then, in January, 2014, the SuperStar Virgo underwent its second refurbishment (costing nearly $20 million) in less than two years. Star Cruises remodeled more than 270 balcony cabins and tripled the ship’s retail area to more than 6000 square feet. “This work reflects our ongoing growth in Asia and will reinforce our position as the Asian-Pacific market leader,” says Ng.

As will, no doubt, Star Cruises’ 150,000 GRT newbuild, slated for delivery in 2016, now under construction at Meyer-Werft shipyard, Papenburg, Germany. Costing 707.2 Euro, with more than 1,600 cabins and a capacity of 4,500 passengers and 2000 crew members, it will, says Ng, be the largest ship permanently homeported in Asia and, of course, will easily rate as the largest ship in Star Cruises’ fleet.

Through March 2014, SuperStar Virgo homeported in Singapore and offered itineraries to Penang, Phuket (where the elephant riding shore excursion is highly popular), Malacca and Port Klang. For April through October, The Virgo will homeport in Hong Kong, sailing to Keelung (Taipei), Taichung and Kaohsiung in Taiwan, Sanya in Hainan and Halong Bay in Vietnam; then homeport for the end of the year in Singapore. It would seem the faster-paced renovation and repositioning of the ships will enable Star Cruises, if it wants, to graduate to selling a more all-inclusive product, along with its current products.

How will Star Cruises’ products also reflect elements like new itineraries and onboard innovations? It seems the line’s onboard strategy is geared to “our current customers, who they are and what they like. Certainly we stand out with freestyle cruising—just like NCL. In fact, we are constantly innovating, adding new entertainment, food and beverage choices, shore excursions, and retail variety and wellness options, both to attract new customers and to ensure that our existing customers keep coming back,” says Ng.

In this respect, new shopping options have dominated as much as anything. For example, the latest retail expansion on the Virgo “enabled passengers to buy products from international brands such as Shiseido SK II, Biotherm, Lancome and Shu Uemura. The ship also features our duty-free shop China Duty Free; jewelry and watch specialist Canopus; luxury leather goods retailer Milan Station; and our Ports O’Call souvenir shop,” he says.

Shore excursion development shines, too: “For summer, 2014, we have lined up many new places of interest among our itineraries and activities in terms of shore excursions. For example, in Naha, travelers can snorkel and dive; in Ishigaki, they can have a Segway riding experience; our Taiwan excursions will also cover several new destinations such as Paper Dome and Taiwan Times Villages in Taichung.”

Generally, says Ng, “Star Cruises’ growth trajectory in Asia could be quite rapid, since we will continue our strategic development of products with highly targeted appeal,” he says — requiring more than the firm’s unilateral, if redoubtable, refurbs and newbuilds: “We need investments in infrastructure, terminals, ports and support services, coupled with an easing of visa requirements and more cooperation amongst regional governments to make cruising hassle-free: all are indispensable to making new products possible. It may take some time: considering it took some 30 years for the market to mature in the U.S., cruising is still an infant in Asia,” he says. “That’s why we are in favor of competition. We believe it helps expand the market and the industry to grow at a faster pace.”

Related Articles:

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Crystal cruises sets strong new course for growth, about publisher.

Lark has been a travel journalist for more than 30 years. She shares weekly news and reviews on all facets of travel. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure or planning a trip for someone else, Lark’s insight on cruise travel, air travel, hotels, resorts, popular activities, attractions and destinations will keep trips cost- and time-efficient, and help all the travel go that much more smoothly.

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Where to stay in Santorini

Andronis Exclusive Turning Heads in Santorini

Minor Hotels rapid expansion

Making Way for Minor Hotels: Quiet Name Behind Large Empire

State fairs and Festivals summer 2019

Fairs, Fests and Roadside Attractions for Summer 2019

Travel Bucket List Facts

Behind the Bucket List: What Americans Really Want in Travel

Travel Leaders Hot trends

Travel Leaders Sees Increasing Growth in International Travel from Southern California

World's most expensive resort in Phllippines

The World’s Most Exclusive Resort Opens in the Philippines

Norwegian Joy Inaugural. Los Angeles, California

Norwegian Joy Back From China – With a Bang

California B&Bs and Inns Spa Packages

Spa Packages with Perks and Value at these California Inns

India's most intense religious fest

Cox and Kings Tames the Chaos for Visitors at India’s Kumbh Mela

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Pets on a Plane: Take the Horse; Leave the Pig

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New Travel Accessories Travelers Never Knew They Needed

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Savoring Singapore with Stays at Six Senses

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All-Solar Hotel Marks a First in the U.S.

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Is This the Airline Seat of the Future?

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Puerto Rico Rebounds with a Roar – and a Campaign

Sleep study

New Study Sheds Light on Sleep Disruptions while Traveling

Outlander series with Diana Gabaldon on Avalon cruise

River Cruise Themes on Avalon to Quench Passionate Interests

Costa rica adventures tours

Finding Slices of Heaven through Costa Rican Trails

Times Square Edition

NYC’s Times Square Gets New Addition: The Edition

Apps for travel

Travel Apps More Trouble than They’re Worth?

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Gold Coasts: Head to the Med for These Cruise Port Gems

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Luxury Has Many Faces, According to Forbes Travel

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Costa Caribbean Cruise: A Window to Italy

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Arizona Rife with New Reasons to Visit

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Beyond Las Vegas: Nevada’s Treasures in the Desert

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A View of Cartagena with Casa St. Augustin

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March Madness Brings Maple and Blooms

Great Plains Conservation

Before You Can’t: Travel Worth Targeting in 2019

Uber Air next innovation

Drones on the Road: Uber Air at CES 2019

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Got These? Ten Travel Gadgets to Watch from CES 2019

Bolivian Adventures

Bespoke Travel in Bolivia: Adventuring with Crillon Tours

New ships for cruising

HAL’s Nieuw Statendam Raises the Bar on Premium Cruising

chocolate tours for foodies

Chocolate Travel Whets the Wanderlust

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Travel Trends: Roads Less Taken; Places Less Seen

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New Year and a Hot Season for Hotel Openings

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Revved for Relaunch: New Dawn for Jamaica’s Half Moon Resort

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Luxe Talk: A Chat with LHW’s Ted Teng

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2019 Flower Shows: Where to Smell the Roses

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Only in Vegas? You Betcha!

Fat flyers

Heavy Lifting: Airlines Look at the Ever-Expanding Passenger

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AirHelp: Finding Money in the Chaos of Flying

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A Way Out West Winter Wonderland Awaits

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Stuck at the Airport or Struck by the Travel Curse?

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Following the Money — Simplifying Payment Systems in Travel

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How to Build a $Million Travel Business

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Catching the Cannabis Wave in Travel

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Airbnb-Style Vacation Rentals Boosting Markets for Agents

new resorts in carribean

Latest Caribbean Hideaway Opens in Granada: Silversands

Cruise lines offer plenty of reasons to sail.

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Healthy Travel Hacks for Frequent Travelers

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Adapt and Convert: Guide to Plugging in on the Road

Overtourism in Europe

Overtourism or the Walking Dread?

Dubai airport amenities

Quirky Airport Amenities — Beyond Duty Free

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Inns of the Sixth Happiness: Six Senses Opens in Bhutan

dark sky vacations northern lights

Dark Tourism: Where to Find the Light of the Universe

travel for a cause

Voluntourism — Traveling for the Good

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Hotel Bill? Listen for the Drip, Drip, Drip

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Caribbean Bouncing Back Big a Year After the Storms of ’17

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Luxury Agents See Robust Times for Travel

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Heckfield Place: To the Manor Reborn after 250 Years

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Resort Fee Bombs: What to Know Before You Explode

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MGM Springfield: Las Vegas Pizzazz in Western Mass

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Foodie Fests: Apples in Focus at these Mid-American Hot Spots


How Americans are Overspending on Vacation


Traveling with a baby? Five Tips


European Vacation Plans Tied to a Sense of Place


Making the Most of Mayfair, the Seen and Unseen


Airline Refund? Protecting that Travel Investment


Foodie Findings: The Road to Garlic Festivals


What They’ll Buy: U.S. Travelers in Focus


Ports of Call: Shoring up the Off-Ship Experience


Resort Buyouts: More Wow, Less Worry


Orlando Vacation Primer: To-Dos from the Experts

rolling luggage

Packing Light: You Can Take it With You


Three Days in Suzhou


Airline Satisfaction Rises as Seat Demand Surges


Coffee? Take a Little Vacay with That


Hamak Hotels: Seeing Green, Finding Gold


Norwegian Bliss: A Cruise Ship for all Comers


Art of Travel? Follow the Masters


Beyond Byzantium: The Road to Bodrum


Beds in Space: Hotel Aurora Taking Reservations


Top Spots for Memorial Day and Summer 2018


Luxury Resorts in Grenada: Gold at Silversands


Vacation Inflation: Truth in Travel


Affluent Travel is All About the Experience


Move Over Vegas. We’re Cruising to Alaska


Pets on a Plane? Furs Things First


Bleisure: Surprising Stats Behind Business Travel


Romancing the Stone at Six Senses Zil Pasyon


Death Valley: Stars, Star Wars & Strange Sybaritics


Best Bets in Bangkok for Thai Massage Treats


Travel: Hidden Fees and Quick Fixes


Trip Insurance Trip-ups? Surprising Finds


Themed Cruises: Passion Plays on the High Seas


Trisara Phuket: Luxe Leader at Top Thai Resort


Stuck at the Airport? See EU261 Passenger Rights


Best and Worst Airlines: Passengers Weigh In


Mexico Made Easy: Top 10 Must Dos


10 Travel Tips for Surviving Winter Storms


Winter Break: Parsing the Top Florida Hotels


Wellness Travel: The Why and Where of it


Forbes Travel Guide: The Goods Behind the Gold


Windstar’s Power Yachts: A Best-Kept Secret


Sant Francesc Hotel Singular: Luxury in Mallorca


Is Luxury as We Know it Dead?


Cruise News: Cashing in on Millennial Madness


Cool Luxury Stays in Cancun and Cartegena


Carnival Launches New Focus on West Coast


Cruise Trends to Watch in 2018


Colorado: The Healing Call of the Mountains


Romancing the World: Luxe Travel Tips


What are the Best Hotels in the World?


Arakur Ushuaia: Luxury Stays in Antarctica


Dizzying Dubai Reaches for the Stars


Luxury Hotel Program with a Glimmer of Dubai


Trouble Spots on the High Seas? Look to the Bugs


Air Travel 2018: Survival Guide


Cruise Woos: Big Savings with Right Timing


Luxury Travel to the Galapagos this Winter @Pikaia


Nixing the Excuse for Not Taking a Cruise


Family River Cruising: New Adventures by Disney

Got tickets why use a travel agent.


The A-List: 11 Bucket List Trips for 2018


Hotel Room of the Future Glimpsed at CES2018


Where Vacations in the Bahamas Can Lead


Travel 2018: What Lies Ahead


Travel Insurance: What Boomers Need to Know

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Carnival Corp. Launching New Ships in 2018

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The Changing World of the Luxury Traveler


Where are Americans Headed this Winter?


Winter in Vermont? Find the Wonder at Twin Farms


Best Time to Travel? Savings Tips for Trips


Mallorca: Stays with Shades of John Le Carré

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Transformative Trips: 6 Trends for Wellness Travel


A Costa Rica Christmas: The Crazy and The Calm

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Boom Times in Travel as Wanderers Find their Why

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The Norman: Luxury Boutique Hotel in Tel Aviv


AARP Insights: Why Baby Boomers Travel


USVI Seeing Sunshine After Irma & Maria


Cruise News: Disney Magic and Seabourn for 2018

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Louvre Abu Dhabi: Finding Art in the Gulf


Travel Most Desired; Roads Less Taken

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Luxury Address in Andalucía: Finca Cortesin


Shopping Trips: Stay and Pay at these Iconic Hubs


The Alla Tours Advantage in St. Petersburg

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Travel Stocking Stuffers – Wrap ‘em Up


Seven Travel Trends to Expect in 2018


Best Places to Travel with the Family


Beaumont London: Magnificence in Mayfair


Columbus, Indiana: Big Art in a Small Town

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La Valencia: Meet the Grand Dame of La Jolla


Top Spots for Travel and Vacations this Winter

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Holiday Travel Season: Best Booking Tips

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Traveling During the Time of Trump

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Faena Miami Beach: New Depth to Design Hotels

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Activating the Activacation: Fab Fitness Stays

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Colorado Romance: 10 High Altitude Hotels

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Hong Kong the Easy Way

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Best, Worst North American Airports? The Hit List


Halloween 2017: Who’s Got Ghosts?


Sweet Bocas: Luxury Villa in Panama … with Perks


Gay L.A.: Best Spots for LGBTQ


Philadelphia Freedom: The Ritz-Carlton is Reborn

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MGM National Harbor: Las Vegas Does D.C.

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Luxury in Asia: Siam Bangkok and Reverie Saigon

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Travel to Myanmar: State of Contradictions

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Top Travel Choices for 2017 from Virtuoso


Autumn Wine Country Escapes in California

Wellness in greece: taking the waters.


Walk, Talk and Eat Chocolate in Switzerland


Best Travel Questions to Take to Europe


Barcelona: Stay the Course and Grab the Pass


Paris for a Song? $138 RT and Iceland is Free


Luxury Travel in Latin America: Manzu, Mukul, Vik


Sweet Virginia Sojourns: Rovings from Roanoke


Flirting with Pure Norwegian Bliss: A Preview


Africa the Easy Way


Rooms with a View from Virtuoso


Traveling with Toddlers: An Owner’s Guide


Gems of India: Sujan Luxury Stays


Hot and Heavenly in Hotel Amenities


Dinner and a View: U.S. Top Spots


Halloween Comes Early to SoCal Theme Parks


Luxury Travel: Bodacious Out; Brazen is In


Fear of Flying: Dr. Oz Cures All on Recent TK Flight


ASTA Probes Travelers’ Intentions and Concerns


Best Beach Hotel in Los Angeles: Malibu Beach Inn


Greece, Pray, Love for Spirited Discovery


CEO Unveils New Disney Dazzlers at D23


Game of Thrones Gets the Searches and the Tours


Summer 2017: Tips for the Great American Eclipse

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Three Exotic Getaways for Revving Romance


Cuba Calling? Cruise There Before You Can’t


Do Mobile Apps Make Magic?


The Pierre: A New York Stay that’s Full of Stories


Summer Vacation 2017: Myths and Momentum


Luxury Travel Short List for Big Spenders 2017

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Luxury Travel to Mongolia? Nomadic Expeditions


Ten Most Popular American Tours


Shanghai Sides: Suzhou Sojourns


Gate Getaways: Quick Trips for Airport Layovers


A New Urgency for Visiting Vanishing Destinations


Treetop Hotels: Latest Up-Trend in Hospitality


Europe Fast and Slow: Ultima Gstaad in Switzerland and Almanac Hotel Barcelona


Cruise Cents: Survey Reveals Where Savings Are


10 Crazy Summer Adventures in Colorado


Summer of Love Packages Draw Dreamers to SF


Strategies for Managing the Airline Seat Wars


Summer Vacation Planning Seeing the Surge


Summer in Italy a Feast for the Senses


Cool New Hotels and Travel Packages to Book


17 Grand Hotels with Legs


Heavenly Beds or Hotel Hell? Happiness Survey


Flight Fright: Living with Onboard Computer Bans


Travel RX: How Healthy is the Travel Industry?


New God of the Nile: Viking RA 2018


New Zealand: Like Nowhere Else


David Citadel, Jerusalem: Israel Old and New


Travel Packages to Dream About


Travel Gear 2017: Top Travel Goods for the Road


Dubai? Take Down this Address


CLIA: Top Summer 2017 Cruise Destinations


Summer of Disney 2017: Top Draws

America’s vacations most wanted.


Sustainable Travel Ranks High on Wish Lists


Tax Trips: Fun with Refunds


From the Numbers: Most Booked Destinations


10 Best Beaches for Family Vacations


Trump Hotels: Are Travelers Just Saying No?


To See Africa is to Save it: Conservation Safaris


7 Divine Drive Destinations in Germany


Coolest New Museum in LA


Summer of Love … and Love of Travel


Escape Rooms: Latest Rage for Guts and Gory


Where the Travel Deals Are


Six Senses Seychelles Mixes Exotic with Luxury

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Latest Flight Ban: Toss the Tablet, Too?


Where to Find a Princess: New London Pass


Mongolian Sojourn in the Land of Genghis Khan

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Mongolia: Cool Yurts, Flaming Cliffs, Ancient Eggs

Carnival corp. takes cruising into future at ces.


Winter Weekend Vacays In; Staycations Out


Hotels of the Future? Here’s a Glimpse of 2060


Travel: The Simple Secret to Happiness


Chablé Opens with Magical Mayan Mystique


Top Seven Adventure Tour Destinations for 2017


Travel: When Time is Money, People Pay


Ready for Your First Rodeo? Dude Ranch Primer


Travel Stocking Stuffers for Winter Gift Ideas


Rich Get Richer: Luxe Travel to See $1B+ by ’22


Where U.S. Ranks in the World for Vacation Time


Arakur Ushuaia: Luxe Gateway to Antarctica

Ual: newest member of the free-to-fee club, cruise lines 2017: what’s new, what’s popular, what the lone traveler wants, packaging the punch for holiday travel, travel distribution: revolution in the air.


Terminal Insanity: Airports to Avoid this Holiday

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Cruises that Raise the Bar on Infotainment

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Star Princess ® A Star is Born

The second of our next generation of cruise ships, star princess®, arriving 2025.

Book Star Princess inaugural season in Europe – Now on sale

Meet our biggest star

There's no sibling rivalry here. Sun Princess can't wait to welcome her sister ship, Star Princess, to the fleet - the third ship with this celestial name. She'll feature the new Dome, out-of-this-world views in the Piazza, Signature Collection Suites and more.

Inaugural Cruise : 2025

Guest Cabins:  2,150

Guest Capacity:  4,300

Number of Decks : 21

Tonnage : 175,500

Length : 1,133 feet

Catch a glimpse of our new star

Be the first to experience all this Star offers during her inaugural 2025 season in the Mediterranean.

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Offers more than 29 bars & restaurants

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1,500 Balconies, the most on any Princess Ship (except sister ship, Sun Princess!)

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Third ship with the name Star Princess

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Our second ship able to be powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)

Wellness and relaxation.

The Lotus Spa® on Sun Princess and Star Princess is our first spa to stand two stories tall! Just as exciting are the new features you can enjoy, like a salt room and an aeromatic steam room, and reimagined favorites, like the Enclave and hydro pool. And as for treatments? Even more options to choose from on your wellness journey.

Sea View Terrace

Look ahead to adventures on the horizon from the new Sea View Terrace and Bar, located at the front of your ship. This two-deck bar and modern-yet-cozy lounge space is perfect for relaxing in the fresh sea air with the world’s best stressbuster: ocean views. This is what vacations are for.

Wake View Terrace

If you enjoy taking in the views from the back of the ship, you’ll love our brand-new Wake View Terrace. It has everything you could want: infinity pool, South Beach-style resort deck, entertainment day and night and (most importantly) a full bar. All guests are welcome to kick back here with their favorite drinks and favorite people. 

The Sanctuary

If you haven’t tried The Sanctuary yet, this is your open invitation to spend a half or full day in a retreat that’s only for adults and soaking up every bit of relaxation you can. Sip on a signature beverage, or work the knots out with an al fresco massage.

Cabana Deck

One of the many perks of staying in a Reserve Collection Cabana Mini-Suite is access to our new Cabana Deck, an exclusive outdoor space with comfy furniture and the freedom to spend the day however you like. It just may be your favorite spot on board!

Entertainment Goes Next-Level

Infused with light, our next generation Piazza connects you to the world with dynamic views and innovative experiences. Stroll through this — a hub of activity, inspired by the vibrant squares of Europe. Bring the world to you, and enjoy ocean views in every direction.

Inspired by the terraces of Santorini, The Dome is a multi-level covered deck and first-of-its-kind glass-enclosed dome ever constructed on a cruise ship. During the day, the Dome features an indoor/outdoor pool and unique water feature in a comfortable and relaxed space. At night, the pool becomes a stage, and the Dome completely transforms into an entertainment venue with a South Beach vibe, state-of-the-art lighting effects and stunning entertainment.

Princess Arena

Our Princess Theater has evolved into the Princess Arena, our most technologically advanced performance space. We can configure it in different ways — even in the round! — and its crowning glory is an LCD panel that brings productions to life. More ways to configure the stage means more ways to entertain you.

Princess Live!

Princess Live! provides non-stop entertainment throughout the day and each evening with trivia, game shows, the Daily Wake Show, live concerts and late-night comedy. Our new design is relaxed and right next to the nearby dining venues — Crown Grill and Good Spirits At Sea — seamlessly integrating your entertainment and dining favorites.

Princess Casino

We’re upping the ante with a sleek new look and central location for our friendliest casino at sea. Come play with us, whether slots or table games.

The Shops of Princess

Now located just off the Piazza, you can take in world-class views then indulge in a little retail therapy in these elegant boutiques.


From the moment you step aboard, we want you to feel welcomed and right at home. And with attentive service from a friendly staff that knows what hospitality means, you’ll find your Princess ship truly is your home away from home.

Photos, floor plan diagrams, amenities, and furnishings represent typical arrangements and may vary by ship and stateroom.

  • Signature Sky Suite
  • Signature Collection Suites
  • Cabana Mini-Suite
  • Deluxe Balcony
  • Premium Oceanview
  • Wheelchair-Accessible

Our Largest, Most Premium Stateroom With Accommodations for Up to Five Guests

The exceptional features of a Signature Sky Suite include luxurious appointments, an expansive stateroom and balcony featuring two bedrooms, two bathrooms, one with a full bath with tub and separate shower, a seating area and sofa bed. Along with special suite-only benefits, this stateroom includes access to the Signature Restaurant, Signature Lounge and private Signature area of The Sanctuary.

In addition to premium stateroom amenities, Signature Collection suites include access to the Signature Restaurant, Signature Lounge and Signature Sun Deck, a private area of the Sanctuary.

  • Approx. 1,262 sq. ft., including balcony
  • Pre-Cruise Shoreside Concierge
  • Seamless curb to suite experience
  • Suite Experience Manager to service your every need
  • Reserved Princess Cays® bungalow ~
  • Premium Champagne upon arrival
  • Two full bottle bar setup & mixers
  • Complimentary Princess Fine Wine Tasting
  • Private shopping concierge
  • Complimentary Ultimate Balcony Breakfast and Dinner
  • Luxury balcony furniture 
  • Living area with sofa that sleeps one ▲
  • Master bedroom with Princess Luxury Bed
  • Private master bathroom with bathtub and separate rain shower
  • Spacious closet and vanity/desk in master bedroom
  • Second bedroom with Princess Luxury Bed (queen or pair of twin beds) ▲
  • Spacious closet and vanity/desk in second bedroom
  • Luxury bedroom and bathroom linens
  • Upgraded bathrobes and slippers
  • Luxury bathroom amenities
  • Portable hairdryer
  • Nespresso machine

▲ 3rd/4th/5th berths available ~ Applicable on voyages that visit Princess Cays

The Most Relaxing Accommodations at Sea

Surrounding you with deluxe accommodations, a spacious Signature Penthouse Suite with balcony includes all the amenities of our Signature Collection, including access to the Signature Restaurant, Signature Lounge and Signature Sun Deck, a private area of The Sanctuary. Enjoy more living space, a separate seating area with sofa bed, enhanced amenities that range from priority embarkation and disembarkation to a complimentary mini-bar setup in suite and so much more.

  • Approx. 304 to 636 sq. ft., including balcony
  • Luxury balcony furniture
  • 2 floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors
  • Separate sitting area with sofa bed, chair and 2 tables
  • One complimentary mini-bar setup and free daily bottled water
  • Spacious closet
  • Complimentary laundry and professional cleaning services
  • Complimentary dinner at specialty restaurant on embarkation evening^
  • Priority reservations for specialty restaurants and shore excursions
  • Priority disembarkation at tender ports
  • Comfortable queen or two twin beds ▲
  • Refrigerator
  • Two flat-panel televisions
  • Private bathroom with tub and separate shower ‡
  • 100% cotton, high-thread count linens
  • 24-hour room service †
  • Desk with chair
  • Hair dryer & fine bathroom amenities
  • Digital security safe

▲ 3rd/4th berths available in select cabins. ‡ Separate tubs are available in Signature Sky Suites, Signature Owner’s Suites and Signature Penthouse Suites. † Guests may call for room service delivery or order through OceanNow® in the Princess® Cruises app at any time of the day or night. Guests with the latest Princess Plus and Princess Premier packages enjoy OceanNow® and room service delivery with no charge. Otherwise, a one-time access fee of $14.99 USD per person per voyage will apply for OceanNow® delivery and a $5 USD room service fee will apply for each order placed by stateroom phone. Limitations, restrictions and conditions apply. ^ Applicable on cruises six days or longer. Reservations can be made once onboard your ship.

Enjoy Breathtaking Views in This Resort-Style Stateroom

The Cabana stateroom features a balcony, a private cabana, unique outdoor furniture and an extra-large private lounge space that lets you take in the fresh sea air. Unwind inside with a separate sitting area with sofa bed and premium bathroom amenities. Enjoy Reserve Collection upgrades on select Cabana Mini-Suites. In addition to the great amenities found in all Cabana Mini-Suites, you will receive Reserve Collection upgrades, including access to the Reserve Collection Restaurant.

  • Approximately 329 sq. ft., including balcony and cabana
  • Balcony with 2-4 chairs, table and ottoman
  • Private cabana beside your balcony for an extra-large outdoor lounge space
  • Access to the Cabana Deck, an outdoor lounge space exclusively for Reserve Cabana staterooms
  • Bathroom with shower
  • Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors
  • Separate sitting area with sofa bed & coffee table
  • Complimentary welcome glass of bubbly on embarkation day
  • Luxury mattress topper and pillows
  • Hair dryer & bathroom amenities

▲3rd/4th berths available in select staterooms. †Guests may call for room service delivery or order through OceanNow® in the Princess® Cruises app at any time of the day or night. Guests with the latest Princess Plus and Princess Premier packages enjoy OceanNow® and room service delivery with no charge. Otherwise, a one-time access fee of $14.99 USD per person per voyage will apply for OceanNow® delivery and a $5 USD room service fee will apply for each order placed by stateroom phone. Limitations, restrictions and conditions apply.

Treat Yourself Every Time You Walk Into Your Stateroom

A complimentary glass of bubbly isn't the only perk you enjoy when you choose a Mini-Suite. It's substantially larger than a balcony stateroom and includes a separate seating area with sofa bed as well as two flat-panel TVs. Need a little extra space for your family or group? A Mini-Suite is the option for you. Enjoy Reserve Collection upgrades on select Mini-Suites. In addition to the great amenities found in all Mini-Suites, you will receive Reserve Collection upgrades, including access to the Reserve Collection Restaurant.

  • Approximately 303 sq. ft., including balcony

A Front Row Seat for Beautiful Scenery

This inspired stateroom offers the added indulgence of a private balcony with well-appointed outdoor furniture and a relaxing view of the scenery that surrounds you, whether a rainbow-colored sunset over the ocean or a new city to explore. It’s also the perfect setting for cocktails before dinner or a leisurely breakfast.

  • Approximately 235 sq. ft., including balcony
  • Balcony with 2 chairs and table
  • Comfortable queen or pair of twin beds ▲
  • Flat-panel television
  • Private bathroom with shower

▲3rd/4th berths available in select cabins. †Guests may call for room service delivery or order through OceanNow® in the Princess® Cruises app at any time of the day or night. Guests with the latest Princess Plus and Princess Premier packages enjoy OceanNow® and room service delivery with no charge. Otherwise, a one-time access fee of $14.99 USD per person per voyage will apply for OceanNow® delivery and a $5 USD room service fee will apply for each order placed by stateroom phone. Limitations, restrictions and conditions apply.

A Room With an Expansive View

Whether the calm of the deep blue sea or the adventure of a new city on the horizon, the Premium Oceanview stateroom ensures picture-perfect snapshots from the comfort of your room. This stateroom includes all the amenities of an interior room and the added benefit of ocean views that bring an airy openness to the space.

  • Approx. 212 sq. ft.
  • Stunning ocean-view window

Our Most Affordable Option for Guests Who Just Want a Comfortable Spot to Recharge

An interior is the perfect place to recharge your batteries. Our most affordable option, these staterooms feature two twin beds or a queen-size bed and the basic amenities you expect, from flat-panel TV to in-room refrigerator.

  • Approx. 136 to 145 sq ft.
  • Comfortable queen or pair of twin beds ▲♦

▲3rd/4th berths available in select cabins. ♦Single-occupancy interior staterooms with queen bed available.

For Guests with Limited Mobility

Princess offers a selection of staterooms that provide full wheelchair-turning space. In addition, these staterooms include either a roll-in shower or transfer shower equipped with grab bars and a fold-down bench seat, an easy access closet and accessible writing desk.

Note: ADA accessible stateroom shown is on board Sky Princess®. Amenities and stateroom arrangements vary by ship. Certain stateroom categories may vary in size and configuration by ship. Call Princess for more information or send inquiries to the Access Office via email at  [email protected] .

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NorthStar luxury Travel Advisors expertly plan far and nearby luxury travel experiences globally with gratitude and contentment.

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As a distinguished full-service luxury travel agency  for over thirty years, NorthStar Luxury Cruise and Travel is a Privileged member of the Virtuoso-awarded elite. Our seasoned Virtuoso luxury travel advisors have served this industry for many decades and know precisely how to suit every budget and preference for individual and group travel experiences on cruises and tours. We provide clients with all the necessary details and expected travel-related services and collaborate to create the perfect itinerary. Trust us to handle every detail of your holidays, cater to your budget and preference, and deliver excellent customer service from booking to boarding.

Our Luxury Virtuoso Travel Advisors Design Adventures!

In other words, we are a fancy travel agency. Our travel advisors have been in the business for a long time, and they are really good at planning awesome trips for people. We can help you plan a great vacation, no matter what you like to do or how much money you want to spend. We will take care of everything for you and make sure you have a fantastic time!

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As a member of  Virtuoso ® , our clients who plan their vacations with NorthStar luxury advisors have admitted that planning their trips with their Virtuoso advisors’ guidance was far superior to organizing them independently.

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Our  Virtuoso®  partnership offers numerous benefits and enhanced travel experiences by providing unique opportunities, personalized services, and access to exclusive benefits. Partnering with Virtuoso gives our clients lots of great perks and special travel experiences, like booking you on the best luxury cruise lines or planning your special Luxury Vacation.

For instance, when considering the  Best of the Best Weekly Hotel Offers , you’ll undoubtedly find the best deals on hotel stays worldwide. The  Virtuoso Insider’s Guide  encourages social distancing with enjoyable and productive activities. In addition, it’s important to note that Virtuoso Escapes and Family Escapes  offer exclusive promotions. These range all the way from Utah’s rugged peaks to the Caribbean’s best beaches, thereby providing dream-worthy trips.

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  • Strong Relationships:  Our NorthStar-Virtuoso Travel Advisors form lasting partnerships with tourism boards, media companies, and retail establishments, providing travelers exclusive experiences and personalized recommendations.
  • Program Partnerships : Virtuoso works hand in hand with several companies to bring about innovation, broaden its product range, and elevate travel experiences for its clients. These partnerships allow travel agencies to offer exceptional services to their customers. For instance, Virtuoso has initially partnered with Virgin Galactic to provide out-of-this-world space travel opportunities and, additionally, offers Virtuoso Voyages, which notably come with exclusive benefits for cruise-goers.
  • Advantageous Pricing : Virtuoso collaborates with leading commercial and private airlines, car rental programs, and travel insurance companies. By partnering with these organizations, we offer our clients advantageous pricing, fare upgrades, special rates, and other exclusive perks. This saves our travel advisors time researching various air options and ensures that our clients receive the best possible travel experience.
  • Expertise in Destinations:  Our NorthStar-Virtuoso advisors specialize in specific destinations by working closely with tourism boards. This expertise allows them to curate exceptional travel experiences for clients, ensuring a deeper understanding of the chosen location.
  • Close Ties with Hotels and Cruise Lines:  Our NorthStar-Virtuoso advisors have established long-term relationships with hotels, cruise lines, and tour operators, which allow travelers to benefit from insider knowledge and personalized recommendations that are based on close collaboration with industry partners.

Why Choose NorthStar Luxury Travel Agency

NorthStar Luxury Cruise and Travel Planner was founded in 1993, specializing in luxury travel. We arrange unique and designer vacation trips for individuals and groups of all sizes, working with all luxury operators across land, air, ocean, river, and expedition cruising.

NorthStar was primarily known for its expertise in all special interest cruises in its infancy. However, as time progressed, our strong connection with all Virtuoso Partner suppliers has consequently allowed us to participate in every aspect of luxury travel worldwide. Today, our agency partners with the best world cruise lines to find the right fit for you with a wide selection of cruise deals.

NorthStar Luxury Cruise and Travel Planner is a well-regarded travel agency offering several positive features and aspects that make it an excellent and appealing choice for luxury travelers:

Experience and Reputation

NorthStar is a privately owned, top-ranked, full-service retail travel company in the United States and has operated for several decades. Our Virtuoso Travel Advisors provide personalized and excellent customer service, skilled at executing essential business trips and unique occasion journeys, with full attention to detail as a boutique travel agency. Client travelers often praise NorthStar’s knowledgeable, accommodating, and reliable travel advisors. We are well organized, and our customers consistently compliment us for it and our seamless travel arrangements.

Quality Accommodations

NorthStar and Virtuoso have been commended for selecting the highest-quality accommodations, including hotels and all cruise types. NorthStar has nurtured relationships with a robust network of Virtuoso contacts around the globe, affording our clients exclusive services, amenities, and significant savings.

Unique Experiences

NorthStar provides unique luxury experiences like safaris and expeditions. NorthStar’s Tailor-made Holidays and arranging outstanding family vacations are exceptional for allowing clients to tailor their itinerary and meet specific needs.

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NorthStar has been a Million Dollar Producer for Crystal Cruises for the last 99 years, a Top Producer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Holland America, and a Member of Cunard’s Inner Circle for the last three years.

  • Award-nominee 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2022
  • Award-winning Agency 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016

Our Virtuoso Travel Advisors

Our team of Virtuoso travel advisors are renowned for their exceptional skills and unwavering commitment to providing you with the best travel arrangements. We take pride in our work and strive to exceed your expectations every step of the way. Our Virtuoso travel advisors are highly skilled and dedicated to providing exceptional travel arrangements for our clients and community. They provide luxury-level white-glove services tailored to high-net-worth clients’ needs and preferences, including personalized travel experiences, exclusive access to events or locations, and high-level customer service. The goal is to provide a luxury experience that meets your high standards and expectations. It’s about understanding your unique needs, preferences, and lifestyle to deliver a service that satisfies and exceeds your expectations.

Connecting with NorthStar Luxury Travel Advisors for curated travel experiences is now easier than ever. Therefore, you can plan tailor-made vacations that are truly unforgettable.

Explore the world of luxury travel

With NorthStar Luxury Travel Advisors, we can plan custom vacations for you, thereby delivering unforgettable travel experiences designed just for you. NorthStar Travel Experts are grateful to be  Virtuoso®  members, in an industry that we love, for clients we love, and love for securing meaningful, memorable vacations in serving our clients’ essential virtues.

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We hope our site inspires you to look ahead for future travel. Rest assured, firstly, we are here for you and, secondly, whenever you’re ready, we are subsequently eager to help you explore your options.

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Discover the ultimate travel recommendations for your holidays, corporate trips, family vacations, honeymoon plans, and more with the help of NorthStar’s experienced luxury travel advisors. They assist clients in answering critical travel questions and making informed decisions for unforgettable travel experiences.

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Start your vacation by exploring our new promotions for hotel deals, vacation packages, exclusive tour operators, last-minute hotel deals, and discount hotels and tours. Discover Virtuoso promotions to hundreds of destinations across the globe. Search our promotions here to find the best value for you!

At NorthStar, we not only offer cruisers specific shore excursions, but with our multi-port excursion packages, we also offer an easy and inexpensive way for cruisers to enjoy the best excursions in all of their ports. For one discounted price, our customers get the most popular excursion in each port!

Our Specialties & Services

Now, More Than Ever, You Need a NorthStar Virtuoso® Travel Advisor! Whether you are ready to travel with us now or in the future, or perhaps this is your first time cruising, we are here to help and aim for your smooth sailing being with us. Did you know: The Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the world offer several different types of cruise categories that include: Circumnavigate Iceland. Cross the Seventh Continent off your list. Explore unspoiled islands off the coast of Brazil. Sail all-inclusive from Bali to Bangkok.

The best way to experience the Best Tours in the world is to travel with Virtuoso and their global insider access to worldly destinations and adventures. NorthStar Travel luxury advisors have access to Virtuoso’s network of the world’s best tour partners, and their expertise means your most memorable trips are yet to come – whenever you’re ready to take them.

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Connect with your NorthStar Virtuoso® Travel Advisor for savings on a bucket list adventure!

Our expertise doesn’t stop at luxury cruises

Ready to embark on your next adventure? Your NorthStar Advisor is here to make your travel dreams come true! Our luxury full-service travel agency is equipped to turn your wanderlust into unforgettable experiences. From family vacations to group trips and corporate travel, our Virtuoso advisors cater to your every need. Expect seamless transportation, connecting suites and villas, and unique multi-generational activities on land, air, and sea. Finally, in conclusion, we would like to assist you in creating memories that will ultimately last a lifetime!

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Russian Tours and Cruises from Express to Russia

Moscow International Business Center (Moscow City)

  • Guide to Russia

What can you do at Moscow City?

  • Dine in style: Moscow City is home to 100+ cafes and restaurants, including Europe’s highest restaurant and ice-cream shop
  • See Moscow like never before: Ascend to one of Moscow City’s observation decks for an unparalleled panorama of Moscow
  • Admire world-class architecture: Each of Moscow City’s skyscrapers has distinctive architecture and design
  • Learn something new: Visit the Museum of High-Rise Architecture in Moscow or the Metro Museum

Moscow City is a multifunctional complex in the west of Moscow, which has come to represent the booming business of Russia’s capital. Its skyscrapers enrich Moscow’s skyline, contrasting the medieval cupolas and Stalinist high-rises. Visitors to Moscow City can enjoy entertainment high in the sky, as the complex is home not just to offices, but to restaurants, cinemas, viewing platforms, and museums.

Moscow International Business Center (Moscow City)

Photo by Alex Zarubi on Unsplash

History of Moscow City

Moscow City was first conceived in 1991 by honoured Soviet architect Boris Tkhor, who proposed to construct a business center in Moscow. It would be complete with gleaming skyscrapers rivalling those of New York and London, to reflect the new life and growing ambitions of post-Soviet Russia.

The chosen site was a stone quarry and disused industrial zone in western Moscow, in between the Third Ring Road and Moskva River. Initially, the territory was divided into 20 sections arranged in a horseshoe shape around a central zone. The skyscrapers would increase in height as they spiralled around the central section, with shorter structures built on the waterfront to give the taller buildings behind a view of the river. 

Architect Gennady Sirota, who contributed to iconic projects such as the Olympic Sports Complex on Prospekt Mira, was selected as the chief architect, and many other world-famous architects were attracted to Moscow to realise their visions in Moscow City.

What can you see and do at Moscow City?

Where Moscow’s cityscape was once dominated by Stalin’s Seven Sisters skyscrapers , this is no more. Moscow City is home to eight of Russia’s ten tallest buildings, six of which exceed 300 metres in height. More buildings are still under construction there today, including the One Tower (which will be Europe’s second-tallest building). Once completed, Moscow City will comprise more than 20 innovative structures.

Each of Moscow City’s skyscrapers was designed by its own architect, lending the cluster of skyscrapers a unique appearance. Aside from being a site of architectural wonder, Moscow City is a place for leisure and entertainment with over 100 cafes and restaurants, exhibition spaces, cinemas, viewing platforms, and more.

Photo by Nikita Karimov on Unsplash

Federation Tower

  • East Tower: 374m, 97 floors; West Tower: 243m, 63 floors
  • Completed in 2017
  • Architects: Sergey Tchoban and Peter Schweger

The East Federation Tower is the tallest building in Moscow, and the second-tallest building in Europe after the Lakhta Centre in St Petersburg. Visitors can enjoy a luxurious meal of seafood, truffles or steak at restaurant ‘Sixty’ on the 62nd floor of the West Tower, or visit Europe’s highest observation deck, ‘Panorama 360’, on the 89th floor of the East Tower.

Did you know? The ice cream and chocolate shop on the 360 observation deck are the highest in the world!

  • South Tower: 354m, 85 floors; North Tower: 254m, 49 floors
  • Completed in 2015
  • Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

The South OKO Tower is the third-tallest building in Russia and Europe. Here, you can visit ‘Ruski’ to dine on hearty Russian cuisine cooked on a real Russian stove, and have a drink in the ice bar. Alternatively, visit restaurant, nightclub and performance space ‘Birds’; the restaurant is the highest in Europe, situated on the 86th floor roof terrace alongside an observation deck. The OKO Towers are also home to karaoke club ‘City Voice’.

Did you know? Underneath OKO Towers is the largest underground parking in Europe, with 16 levels and 3,400 parking spaces.

Mercury Tower

  • 339m tall, 75 floors
  • Architects : Mikhail Posokhin, Frank Williams, Gennady Sirota

Another multifunctional skyscraper, which was designed as the first truly ‘green’ building in Moscow. The Mercury Tower has a distinct geometric shape and copper-coloured glazing, and was the tallest building in Europe upon completion. Visit ‘More i myaso’ (Sea and meat) on the first floor of the tower to enjoy European and Mediterranean cuisine whilst surrounded by greenery. On the 2nd and 40th floors a modern art gallery, the ‘ILONA-K artspace’, has just opened.

City of Capitals

  • Moscow Tower: 302m, 76 floors; St Petersburg Tower: 257m, 65 floors
  • Completed in 2009
  • Architect: Bureau NBBJ

The unique geometric design of the City of Capitals towers resembles stacks of rotating blocks, and is rooted in Constructivism of the early Soviet period (many Soviet Constructivist buildings can be found in Moscow). Visitors to the Moscow Tower can enjoy a range of cuisines – traditional Italian dishes on the summer terrace of ‘Tutto Bene’, Panasian cuisine in the tropical luxury of the ‘Bamboo Bar’ on the 1st floor’, and poke or smoothie bowls at ‘Soul in the Bowl’ cafe on the 80th floor.

Tower on the Embankment

  • Tower A: 84m; Tower B:127m; Tower C: 268m, 61 floors
  • Completed in 2007
  • Architects: Vehbi Inan and Olcay Erturk

After completion, the Tower on the Embankment was the tallest building in Europe, and is now the 13th tallest. It houses the headquarters of several large Russian and international  companies, including IBM and KPMG. There are two cafes located on the 1st floor of Tower C – self-service café ‘Obed Bufet’ (Lunch Buffet) and Bakery Chain ‘Khleb Nasushchny’ (Daily Bread).

Evolution Tower

  • 255m tall, 54 floors
  • Architects: Philip Nikandrov and RMJM Scotland Ltd

Evolution is Moscow City’s most recognisable tower, and the 11th tallest building in Russia. Its façade is a true architectural marvel, comprising continuous strips of curved glazing spiralling high into  the sky. According to the architect, Philip Nikandrov, the spiral shape of the tower honours centuries of architectural design in Russia, from the onion domes of St Basil's Cathedral to Vladimir Shukhov’s Tatlin Tower, a masterpiece of Constructivist design. Outside the Evolution tower is a landscaped terrace and pedestrian zone descending to the Presnenskaya Embankment, which was also designed by Nikandrov.

Did you know? Moscow’s largest wedding palace was supposed to be built on the site of the Evolution tower, though the project was abandoned.

  • 239m tall, 60 floors
  • Completed in 2011

Imperia’s interesting design has a curved roof and an arched glass façade. Inside the tower are various cafes including ‘City Friends’ for all-day breakfasts and light lunches, ‘Mama in the City’ for simple meals of Russian cuisine, and ‘abc kitchen’ for European and Indian-inspired dishes. Alternatively, visit ‘High Bar’ on the 56th floor for cocktails with a view. In Imperia you’ll also find the Museum of High-Rise Construction in Moscow (suitably located on the 56th floor), and the Camera Immersive Theatre.

Did you know? Inside Vystavochnaya metro station is the Metro Museum , dedicated to the history of the beautiful Moscow Metro!

  • 130m tall, 26 floors
  • Completed in 2001
  • Architect: Boris Tkhor

Tower 2000 was Moscow City’s first tower. It stands on the opposite bank of the Moskva River, and houses a viewing platform from which visitors can admire an unparalleled panorama of Moscow City. The Bagration Bridge reaches across the river from the tower to Moscow City, and underneath are piers from where you can take boat trips.

Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash

Afimall is Moscow’s largest entertainment and shopping complex, home to 450 shops, cafes and restaurants, a cinema, and a virtual-reality game park. The shopping centre is located in the central section of Moscow City, and a cinema and concert hall are currently under construction there.

What’s nearby?

Sechenov Botanical Gardens: The botanical gardens of the First Moscow State Medical University was created for students’ training and research in 1946. Today it is open for free visits, and is home to a large arboretum.

Park Krasnaya Presnya: This park belonged to the Studenets estate of the Gagarin princes. It is a monument of 18th and 19th century landscaping, with Dutch ponds, ornate bridges, and tree-lined alleys. There are also sports facilities, sports equipment rental, and cafes.

Botanical Gardens

Photo by Akkit  on Wikipedia

Essential information for visitors

Website: https://www.citymoscow.ru/

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +7 (495) 730-23-33

Nearest metro: Mezhdunarodnaya (closest to the skyscrapers), Delovoy Tsentr (underneath Afimall), Vystavochnaya (closest to Expocentre)

Related Tours

Moscow - St. Petersburg 3-star cruise by Vodohod

Moscow - St. Petersburg 3-star cruise by Vodohod

This is our most popular cruise covering Moscow and St. Petersburg and all of the significant towns between these 2 cities. Besides the Two Capitals, you will visit the ancient towns of Uglich, Yaroslavl and Goritsy, the island of Kizhi, and Mandrogui village.

Cruise Ship

Two Capitals and the Golden Ring

Two Capitals and the Golden Ring

This tour covers the best sights of Moscow and St. Petersburg along with a trip to the Golden Ring - a group of medieval towns to the northeast of Moscow. Ancient Kremlins, onion-shaped domes and wooden architecture is just a small part of what awaits you on this amazing tour.



Classic Moscow

Classic Moscow

This is our most popular Moscow tour that includes all the most prominent sights. You will become acquainted with ancient Russia in the Kremlin, admire Russian art in the Tretyakov Gallery, listen to street musicians as you stroll along the Old Arbat street, and learn about Soviet times on the Moscow Metro tour.

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Musk says Tesla will unveil long-promised robotaxi on Aug 8

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Monday, 08 Apr 2024

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GM’s Cruise to resume testing its robotaxi service in Phoenix

GM’s Cruise to resume testing its robotaxi service in Phoenix

Tesla settles over fatal autopilot crash on eve of trial, tesla enlists apple to prove driver killed in crash was gaming.

Tesla announced that an increasingly affordable car and a specialised robotaxi will be part of its next-generation vehicle platform. — Reuters

Tesla Inc plans to unveil its long-promised robotaxi later this year as the electric carmaker struggles with weak sales and competition from cheap Chinese EVs.

Chief executive officer Elon Musk posted Friday on X, his social media site, that Tesla’s robotaxi will be unveiled on Aug 8.

Shares gained as much as 5.1% in postmarket trading in New York. Tesla’s stock has fallen 34% this year through Friday’s close. Shortly before Musk posted the news about the robotaxi, he lost the title of third-richest person in the world to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms Inc.

A fully autonomous vehicle, pitched to investors in 2019, has long been key to Tesla’s lofty valuation. In recent weeks, Tesla has rolled out the latest version of the driver-assistance software that it markets as FSD, or Full Self-Driving, to consumers.

The company has said that its next-generation vehicle platform will include both a cheaper car and a dedicated robotaxi. Though the company has teased both, it has yet to unveil prototypes of either. Musk’s Friday tweet indicates that the robotaxi is taking priority over the cheaper car, though both will be designed on the same platform.

Reuters reported earlier Friday that the carmaker had called off plans for the less-expensive vehicle and was shifting more resources toward trying to bring a robotaxi to market. Musk responded by saying "Reuters is lying,” without offering specifics.

Tesla also produced 46,561 more vehicles than it delivered in the first quarter, which has forced it to slash prices. US consumers have been turning away from more expensive EVs in favour of hybrid models, causing many manufacturers to rethink pushes to electrify their fleets.

Splashy product announcements by Musk have always been a key part of Tesla’s ability to gin up enthusiasm among customers and investors without spending on traditional advertising. They don’t always work: the company unveiled the Cybertruck to enormous fanfare in November 2019, but production was delayed for years and the ramp up of that vehicle has been slow. – Bloomberg

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THE 10 BEST Moscow Boat Rides & Cruises

Boat rides & cruises in moscow.

  • Boat Rentals
  • Scuba & Snorkeling
  • Fishing Charters & Tours
  • Water Sports
  • Stand-Up Paddleboarding
  • Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing
  • Kayaking & Canoeing
  • Waterskiing & Jetskiing
  • Parasailing & Paragliding
  • River Rafting & Tubing
  • Dolphin & Whale Watching
  • Speed Boats Tours
  • Submarine Tours
  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 2.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3rd Transport Ring (TTK)
  • District Central (TsAO)
  • Garden Ring
  • District Northern (SAO)
  • Good for Big Groups
  • Good for Couples
  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for Kids
  • Hidden Gems
  • Honeymoon spot
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
  • Adventurous
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

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1. Flotilla Radisson Royal


2. Moscow River Boat Tours


3. Sup-Club

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4. Akvanavt Diving Centre

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5. Diving Center Crocus City Oceanarium

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8. SUP Center

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11. Easy Russia Tour Guide


12. Lovely Russia Tours


13. Capital River Boat Tours - Moscow Centre


14. Alfa Centr

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19. Soho Sailing Style

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In Transit: Notes from the Underground

Jun 06 2018.

Spend some time in one of Moscow’s finest museums.

Subterranean commuting might not be anyone’s idea of a good time, but even in a city packing the war-games treasures and priceless bejeweled eggs of the Kremlin Armoury and the colossal Soviet pavilions of the VDNKh , the Metro holds up as one of Moscow’s finest museums. Just avoid rush hour.

The Metro is stunning and provides an unrivaled insight into the city’s psyche, past and present, but it also happens to be the best way to get around. Moscow has Uber, and the Russian version called Yandex Taxi , but also some nasty traffic. Metro trains come around every 90 seconds or so, at a more than 99 percent on-time rate. It’s also reasonably priced, with a single ride at 55 cents (and cheaper in bulk). From history to tickets to rules — official and not — here’s what you need to know to get started.

A Brief Introduction Buying Tickets Know Before You Go (Down) Rules An Easy Tour

A Brief Introduction

Moscow’s Metro was a long time coming. Plans for rapid transit to relieve the city’s beleaguered tram system date back to the Imperial era, but a couple of wars and a revolution held up its development. Stalin revived it as part of his grand plan to modernize the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 30s. The first lines and tunnels were constructed with help from engineers from the London Underground, although Stalin’s secret police decided that they had learned too much about Moscow’s layout and had them arrested on espionage charges and deported.

The beauty of its stations (if not its trains) is well-documented, and certainly no accident. In its illustrious first phases and particularly after the Second World War, the greatest architects of Soviet era were recruited to create gleaming temples celebrating the Revolution, the USSR, and the war triumph. No two stations are exactly alike, and each of the classic showpieces has a theme. There are world-famous shrines to Futurist architecture, a celebration of electricity, tributes to individuals and regions of the former Soviet Union. Each marble slab, mosaic tile, or light fixture was placed with intent, all in service to a station’s aesthetic; each element, f rom the smallest brass ear of corn to a large blood-spattered sword on a World War II mural, is an essential part of the whole.

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The Metro is a monument to the Soviet propaganda project it was intended to be when it opened in 1935 with the slogan “Building a Palace for the People”. It brought the grand interiors of Imperial Russia to ordinary Muscovites, celebrated the Soviet Union’s past achievements while promising its citizens a bright Soviet future, and of course, it was a show-piece for the world to witness the might and sophistication of life in the Soviet Union.

It may be a museum, but it’s no relic. U p to nine million people use it daily, more than the London Underground and New York Subway combined. (Along with, at one time, about 20 stray dogs that learned to commute on the Metro.)

In its 80+ year history, the Metro has expanded in phases and fits and starts, in step with the fortunes of Moscow and Russia. Now, partly in preparation for the World Cup 2018, it’s also modernizing. New trains allow passengers to walk the entire length of the train without having to change carriages. The system is becoming more visitor-friendly. (There are helpful stickers on the floor marking out the best selfie spots .) But there’s a price to modernity: it’s phasing out one of its beloved institutions, the escalator attendants. Often they are middle-aged or elderly women—“ escalator grandmas ” in news accounts—who have held the post for decades, sitting in their tiny kiosks, scolding commuters for bad escalator etiquette or even bad posture, or telling jokes . They are slated to be replaced, when at all, by members of the escalator maintenance staff.

For all its achievements, the Metro lags behind Moscow’s above-ground growth, as Russia’s capital sprawls ever outwards, generating some of the world’s worst traffic jams . But since 2011, the Metro has been in the middle of an ambitious and long-overdue enlargement; 60 new stations are opening by 2020. If all goes to plan, the 2011-2020 period will have brought 125 miles of new tracks and over 100 new stations — a 40 percent increase — the fastest and largest expansion phase in any period in the Metro’s history.

Facts: 14 lines Opening hours: 5 a.m-1 a.m. Rush hour(s): 8-10 a.m, 4-8 p.m. Single ride: 55₽ (about 85 cents) Wi-Fi network-wide

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Buying Tickets

  • Ticket machines have a button to switch to English.
  • You can buy specific numbers of rides: 1, 2, 5, 11, 20, or 60. Hold up fingers to show how many rides you want to buy.
  • There is also a 90-minute ticket , which gets you 1 trip on the metro plus an unlimited number of transfers on other transport (bus, tram, etc) within 90 minutes.
  • Or, you can buy day tickets with unlimited rides: one day (218₽/ US$4), three days (415₽/US$7) or seven days (830₽/US$15). Check the rates here to stay up-to-date.
  • If you’re going to be using the Metro regularly over a few days, it’s worth getting a Troika card , a contactless, refillable card you can use on all public transport. Using the Metro is cheaper with one of these: a single ride is 36₽, not 55₽. Buy them and refill them in the Metro stations, and they’re valid for 5 years, so you can keep it for next time. Or, if you have a lot of cash left on it when you leave, you can get it refunded at the Metro Service Centers at Ulitsa 1905 Goda, 25 or at Staraya Basmannaya 20, Building 1.
  • You can also buy silicone bracelets and keychains with built-in transport chips that you can use as a Troika card. (A Moscow Metro Fitbit!) So far, you can only get these at the Pushkinskaya metro station Live Helpdesk and souvenir shops in the Mayakovskaya and Trubnaya metro stations. The fare is the same as for the Troika card.
  • You can also use Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

Rules, spoken and unspoken

No smoking, no drinking, no filming, no littering. Photography is allowed, although it used to be banned.

Stand to the right on the escalator. Break this rule and you risk the wrath of the legendary escalator attendants. (No shenanigans on the escalators in general.)

Get out of the way. Find an empty corner to hide in when you get off a train and need to stare at your phone. Watch out getting out of the train in general; when your train doors open, people tend to appear from nowhere or from behind ornate marble columns, walking full-speed.

Always offer your seat to elderly ladies (what are you, a monster?).

An Easy Tour

This is no Metro Marathon ( 199 stations in 20 hours ). It’s an easy tour, taking in most—though not all—of the notable stations, the bulk of it going clockwise along the Circle line, with a couple of short detours. These stations are within minutes of one another, and the whole tour should take about 1-2 hours.

Start at Mayakovskaya Metro station , at the corner of Tverskaya and Garden Ring,  Triumfalnaya Square, Moskva, Russia, 125047.

1. Mayakovskaya.  Named for Russian Futurist Movement poet Vladimir Mayakovsky and an attempt to bring to life the future he imagined in his poems. (The Futurist Movement, natch, was all about a rejecting the past and celebrating all things speed, industry, modern machines, youth, modernity.) The result: an Art Deco masterpiece that won the National Grand Prix for architecture at the New York World’s Fair in 1939. It’s all smooth, rounded shine and light, and gentle arches supported by columns of dark pink marble and stainless aircraft steel. Each of its 34 ceiling niches has a mosaic. During World War II, the station was used as an air-raid shelter and, at one point, a bunker for Stalin. He gave a subdued but rousing speech here in Nov. 6, 1941 as the Nazis bombed the city above.

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Take the 3/Green line one station to:

2. Belorusskaya. Opened in 1952, named after the connected Belarussky Rail Terminal, which runs trains between Moscow and Belarus. This is a light marble affair with a white, cake-like ceiling, lined with Belorussian patterns and 12 Florentine ceiling mosaics depicting life in Belarussia when it was built.

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Transfer onto the 1/Brown line. Then, one stop (clockwise) t o:

3. Novoslobodskaya.  This station was designed around the stained-glass panels, which were made in Latvia, because Alexey Dushkin, the Soviet starchitect who dreamed it up (and also designed Mayakovskaya station) couldn’t find the glass and craft locally. The stained glass is the same used for Riga’s Cathedral, and the panels feature plants, flowers, members of the Soviet intelligentsia (musician, artist, architect) and geometric shapes.

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Go two stops east on the 1/Circle line to:

4. Komsomolskaya. Named after the Komsomol, or the Young Communist League, this might just be peak Stalin Metro style. Underneath the hub for three regional railways, it was intended to be a grand gateway to Moscow and is today its busiest station. It has chandeliers; a yellow ceiling with Baroque embellishments; and in the main hall, a colossal red star overlaid on golden, shimmering tiles. Designer Alexey Shchusev designed it as an homage to the speech Stalin gave at Red Square on Nov. 7, 1941, in which he invoked Russia’s illustrious military leaders as a pep talk to Soviet soldiers through the first catastrophic year of the war.   The station’s eight large mosaics are of the leaders referenced in the speech, such as Alexander Nevsky, a 13th-century prince and military commander who bested German and Swedish invading armies.

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One more stop clockwise to Kurskaya station,  and change onto the 3/Blue  line, and go one stop to:

5. Baumanskaya.   Opened in 1944. Named for the Bolshevik Revolutionary Nikolai Bauman , whose monument and namesake district are aboveground here. Though he seemed like a nasty piece of work (he apparently once publicly mocked a woman he had impregnated, who later hung herself), he became a Revolutionary martyr when he was killed in 1905 in a skirmish with a monarchist, who hit him on the head with part of a steel pipe. The station is in Art Deco style with atmospherically dim lighting, and a series of bronze sculptures of soldiers and homefront heroes during the War. At one end, there is a large mosaic portrait of Lenin.

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Stay on that train direction one more east to:

6. Elektrozavodskaya. As you may have guessed from the name, this station is the Metro’s tribute to all thing electrical, built in 1944 and named after a nearby lightbulb factory. It has marble bas-relief sculptures of important figures in electrical engineering, and others illustrating the Soviet Union’s war-time struggles at home. The ceiling’s recurring rows of circular lamps give the station’s main tunnel a comforting glow, and a pleasing visual effect.

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Double back two stops to Kurskaya station , and change back to the 1/Circle line. Sit tight for six stations to:

7. Kiyevskaya. This was the last station on the Circle line to be built, in 1954, completed under Nikita Khrushchev’ s guidance, as a tribute to his homeland, Ukraine. Its three large station halls feature images celebrating Ukraine’s contributions to the Soviet Union and Russo-Ukrainian unity, depicting musicians, textile-working, soldiers, farmers. (One hall has frescoes, one mosaics, and the third murals.) Shortly after it was completed, Khrushchev condemned the architectural excesses and unnecessary luxury of the Stalin era, which ushered in an epoch of more austere Metro stations. According to the legend at least, he timed the policy in part to ensure no Metro station built after could outshine Kiyevskaya.

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Change to the 3/Blue line and go one stop west.

8. Park Pobedy. This is the deepest station on the Metro, with one of the world’s longest escalators, at 413 feet. If you stand still, the escalator ride to the surface takes about three minutes .) Opened in 2003 at Victory Park, the station celebrates two of Russia’s great military victories. Each end has a mural by Georgian artist Zurab Tsereteli, who also designed the “ Good Defeats Evil ” statue at the UN headquarters in New York. One mural depicts the Russian generals’ victory over the French in 1812 and the other, the German surrender of 1945. The latter is particularly striking; equal parts dramatic, triumphant, and gruesome. To the side, Red Army soldiers trample Nazi flags, and if you look closely there’s some blood spatter among the detail. Still, the biggest impressions here are the marble shine of the chessboard floor pattern and the pleasingly geometric effect if you view from one end to the other.

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Keep going one more stop west to:

9. Slavyansky Bulvar.  One of the Metro’s youngest stations, it opened in 2008. With far higher ceilings than many other stations—which tend to have covered central tunnels on the platforms—it has an “open-air” feel (or as close to it as you can get, one hundred feet under). It’s an homage to French architect Hector Guimard, he of the Art Nouveau entrances for the Paris M é tro, and that’s precisely what this looks like: A Moscow homage to the Paris M é tro, with an additional forest theme. A Cyrillic twist on Guimard’s Metro-style lettering over the benches, furnished with t rees and branch motifs, including creeping vines as towering lamp-posts.

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Stay on the 3/Blue line and double back four stations to:

10. Arbatskaya. Its first iteration, Arbatskaya-Smolenskaya station, was damaged by German bombs in 1941. It was rebuilt in 1953, and designed to double as a bomb shelter in the event of nuclear war, although unusually for stations built in the post-war phase, this one doesn’t have a war theme. It may also be one of the system’s most elegant: Baroque, but toned down a little, with red marble floors and white ceilings with gilded bronze c handeliers.

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Jump back on the 3/Blue line  in the same direction and take it one more stop:

11. Ploshchad Revolyutsii (Revolution Square). Opened in 1938, and serving Red Square and the Kremlin . Its renowned central hall has marble columns flanked by 76 bronze statues of Soviet heroes: soldiers, students, farmers, athletes, writers, parents. Some of these statues’ appendages have a yellow sheen from decades of Moscow’s commuters rubbing them for good luck. Among the most popular for a superstitious walk-by rub: the snout of a frontier guard’s dog, a soldier’s gun (where the touch of millions of human hands have tapered the gun barrel into a fine, pointy blade), a baby’s foot, and a woman’s knee. (A brass rooster also sports the telltale gold sheen, though I am told that rubbing the rooster is thought to bring bad luck. )

Now take the escalator up, and get some fresh air.

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