Singapore launches “cruises to nowhere”

Destination Editor
10:45:00 - October 13, 2020

Royal Caribbean International and Genting Cruise Lines will depart from Singapore in the coming months, becoming the first cruise lines in Asia to revive the cruise ship industry that had been frozen since the beginning of the year.

World Dream of Genting Cruise Lines will re-operate from November 6 while Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas is planned to sail on December 1. Prices for a 2-to-4-night trip onboard ranged from 359 to 599 SGD per person and vary from different cruise lines. In addition, the guest has to pay an additional 60 SGD for the test.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) allows the above cruise lines to sell “cruise ship to nowhere packages” on a trial basis as long as they comply with strict safety measures and mandatory COVID-19 testing for all crew members and visitors. They also have to limit capacity down to 50% and ensure not to transit at any port.

The Singapore government claimed that it is one of the first countries in the world to develop and implement a safety assessment and certification program for cruise lines before cruises are allowed to begin.

It is currently developing a certification program named “CruiseSafe”, which includes strict safety and hygiene measures throughout the customer experiences from before to after boarding. The development of this program also covers the pilot of cruises to nowhere, with authorities monitoring the progress of these trips over the coming months before deciding on their next steps. According to experts, STB’s new safety measures for cruise ships are even stricter than those applied for tourist destinations in the country.

Both Royal Caribbean and Genting Cruise have made optimistic statements about the resumption of cruises in Singapore. However, it is likely that both cruise lines have to accept they must operate with lower capacity and cannot accommodate foreign guests.

Royal Caribbean said its Quantum of the Seas cruise ship offers 3- and 4-night cruises starting from December 1 with a series of safety measures at every step for passengers, including inspection and screening, strict hygiene practices and reduced passenger capacity to ensure social distance.

Moreover, the cruise line also promised to give a full refund if any passenger of its travel group tested positive for COVID-19. Royal Caribbean is willing to pay up to 25,000 SGD (18,400 USD) per passenger for COVID-19 related medical expenses.

Same with Royal Caribbean, Genting Cruise also go through COVID-19 check for all passengers aged from 13 before they board its World Dream cruise ship. All guests aged from 7 have to install the TraceTogether tracking app on their smartphone as well.


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