GEORGE TOWN: Penang's Swettenham Pier has surpassed Port Klang to become the number one port of call in the country for cruise ships. State Tourism, Culture and Development Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang said the Swettenham Pier has seen 125 cruise ships called compared with 78 in Port Klang in Selangor or the terminal in Langkawi, Kedah. He said this would boost tourism as tourist spots throughout the state would receive a flood of visitors, benefiting the retail and hospitality sectors. Penang has now become world famous for its street gastronomic, mural paintings in the heritage enclave, and various heritage architecture, Law said. He said the port's strategic point of location has helped as tourists could easily access the city just by walking or using the trishaws. The shopping malls are also nearby. Law has appealed to the federal authorities to expand the pier to accommodate more ships. "All the stakeholders can benefit from this," he said. Earlier on Monday, the Costa Victoria cruise which can fill up to 2,394 passengers, berthed at the port from 6am to 10pm. Law noted that this was a first time that a cruise made a port call for a long period in Penang since it started sailing out of Singapore in the last six years. He added that Costa Victoria usually called at the pier from 8am to 2pm and this limits the passengers from moving, but now the cruise operator has extended the time for its passengers to stroll through Penang by an additional eight hours.