Most Japanese who choose a cruise vacation are seeking the luxurious Western atmosphere found aboard the big ships. Very soon, however, they will be able to opt for an ambience that is much closer to home.

Star Cruises, a Singapore-based cruise liner, announced Feb. 12 that it will start offering authentic Asian atmosphere to the lucrative Japanese cruise market in March with the 28,000-ton SuperStar Capricorn. The arrival of the Singaporean cruise liner is likely to change the concept of cruises in Japan, with Chinese, Japanese and English to the main languages used on its ship.

It will offer short-stay cruises ranging from four to eight days at much lower rates than other cruise liners. “Star Cruises was established in September 1993 with the objective being to pioneer and develop the cruise industry in Asia,” said Eddy Lee, president and chief executive of Star Cruises. “We will cater our products for a mass market.” SuperStar Capricorn will go into service at the end of March connecting the cities of Naha, Ishigaki and Zamani in Okinawa Prefecture with Hong Kong and Keelung, Taiwan.

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