Following a US$56 million overhaul that spans on-board facilities and cabin interiors, Dream Cruises christened its newest vessel, the Explorer Dream, in Shanghai last Thursday.
The vessel – formerly the SuperStar Virgo of sister brand Star Cruises – now features 928 staterooms, including Dream Cruises’ signature ship-within-a-ship luxury commune The Palace.
Also on board is a collection of entertainment spaces such as an arcade, games and virtual reality lounge ESC Experience Lab, the Zodiac Theatre and, the Palm Court bar and observatory.
Dining options include Asian restaurant Blue Lagoon, Seafood Grill by celebrity chef Mark Best, Mozzarella Ristorante & Pizzeria, as well as Umi Uma Sushi & Teppanyaki.
Explorer Dream will sail out of its homeport in Shanghai and Tianjin to Japan, Hong Kong and Vietnam. In October this year, the ship will cruise from Sydney and Auckland.
Thatcher Brown, president of Dream Cruises and managing director Crystal Cruises Asia, told TTG Asia that one of Explorer Dream’s “core strategic roles” is to “address new markets” emerging in China.
“We need to build awareness, excitement and loyalty in the Shanghai market right away. Bringing the rail-cruise, fly-cruise and regional driving markets into Shanghai is our first priority,” he elaborated.
Brown admitted that while cruising is increasingly popular in Asia, the industry can benefit from even greater awareness and education about the different products in the market.
At the christening ceremony, Kent Zhu, president of Genting Cruise Lines, announced that Explorer Dream will chart the course for the company’s future expansion by sailing to new destinations and unlocking new markets around the globe.