Port Kelang (Kuala Lumpur and Melaka)

One of the largest ports in the world, and the port for Kuala Lumpur and nearby Melaka, the old historical city founded by a Sumatran prince named Parameswara in the 14th century. Port Kelang is situated in Malaysia, which was formerly part of the Malay Kingdoms and, from the 18th century, was subject to the British Empire. After achieving independence in 1957, Malaya united with North Borneo, Sarawak, and (briefly) Singapore on 16 September 1963 to become Malaysia. As a result, Malaysia is multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual and a fascinating country to visit. Constitutionally, Islam is the state religion, but religious freedom is protected.

Kuala Lumpur is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas of Malaysia, and its capital city. As the sixth most visited city in the world, Kuala Lumpur is incredibly popular with tourists. Visitors are attracted to its huge cultural diversity, its relatively low costs and its wide dining and shopping variety. Major tourist destinations range from the House of Parliament, Istana Stegara (the National Palace), the Kuala Lumpur Tower, to Jamek Mosque and Batu Caves.

Melaka is a fascinating alternative place to visit from Port Kelang. Conquered by the Portuguese in 1511, taken over firstly by the Dutch in 1641 and later by the British, various European influences can be traced from sites such as Portuguese Square, St Paul’s Church, built originally by the Portuguese Catholics and later used by the Dutch as a burial ground, the A’Famosa fortress built by the Portuguese but largely destroyed by the Dutch, the Dutch St. John’s Fort (originally a Portuguese chapel) to Stadthuys, the official residence of the Dutch governor (now home to the Historic Museum and Ethnography Museum which features many traditional bridal costumes and relics). Other historical sites of interest include the Kampung Keling Mosque, the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, and Jonker’s Street which is famous for its antique shops and preservation of Melaka’s rich baba-nyonya heritage.

As an embarkation port, Port Kelang is perfectly placed for further exploration of Malaysia as part of a combination pre- or post-cruise programme. Other nearby areas of interest to visit include the Raja Mahadi Fort; Crab Island (Pulau Ketam) which is famous for its astounding ‘floating houses’ on stilts’ and its role in providing crabs, prawns and fish to the Klang Valley; and the royal town of Klang, home to the Palace of the Sultan of Selangor.