It’s back to the sea for two cruise lines which will be sailing out of Asia. As part of a return-to-cruise pilot program, Royal Caribbean and Dream Cruises were both granted permission to sail from Singapore in late 2020.
Asia-based Dream Cruises’ World Dream will start sailing in November, while Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas is slated to begin voyages in December.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is developing a mandatory CruiseSafe certification program, which sets out strict hygiene and safety measures throughout the passenger journey — from even before they board to post-disembarkation. The return-to-cruise guidelines mirror many of the 74 steps outlined in the Healthy-Sail Plan, a joint collaboration between Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and the Royal Caribbean Group.
“This cruise pilot [program] is a valuable opportunity for cruise operators to reinvent the entire cruise experience in order to regain the confidence of passengers,” said Mr. Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board. “Singapore remains committed to supporting and growing cruise tourism in the region. We will continue to work with cruise lines and our industry stakeholders to chart a new course for safe cruising,”
The CruiseSafe standards include:
- Infection control measures at every stage of a passenger’s journey, including a mandatory pre-boarding testing
- Strict and frequent cleaning and sanitization protocols onboard
- Safe management measures aligned with the prevailing national policy at the time of sailing
- Ensuring 100 percent fresh air throughout the ship
- Reducing ship capacity to enable sufficient safe distancing
- Setting up onboard measures to discourage close contact and intermingling between groups
- Emergency response plans for any medical incidents
As of now, the two cruise lines sailing from Singapore will only be operating cruises to nowhere, sailing at a 50 percent capacity, and will only be open to Singapore residents. The local government will monitor the outcomes of the pilot sailings carefully in the coming months before deciding on how to move forward with the resumption of cruising.
Launched in 2014, Quantum of the Seas sails seasonal voyages from Singapore and Southeast Asia. The 150,600-gross registered ton World Dream sails year-round throughout Asia.