Top News Singapore to resume “cruises to nowhere” from November By TTG Asia / Posted on 8 October, 2020 14:40 Two cruise lines have received approval from authorities to resume sailings from Singapore starting November, under a pilot scheme which will be open only to Singapore residents. Genting Cruise Lines’ (GCL) World Dream will restart cruises from November 6, while Royal Caribbean International’s (RCI) Quantum of the Seas will begin sailing in December, said the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in a press release on Thursday (October 8). Dream Cruises’ World Dream will be the first cruise ship to restart sailings from Singapore next month, under a pilot programme featuring enhanced safety protocols The pilot cruises will be round-trips with no ports of call, sailing at a reduced capacity of up to 50 percent, and only open to Singapore residents. Making her homeport debut from November 6, Dream Cruises’ World Dream cruise ship will offer a series of new two- and three-night Super Seacation experiences for Singapore residents during the school and year-end holidays. Dream Cruises was the first cruise brand in the world to resume operations in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, with two key homeports in Asia, starting with the deployment in Taiwan in July, followed by Singapore this November. Dream Cruises president Michael Goh said the inaugural homeport deployment of World Dream in Singapore “marks another important milestone in the recovery process post-Covid-19 for the local cruise tourism industry”. He added: “We are delighted to be the first cruise ship to restart operations here in Singapore and to give a much needed boost to the local tourism industry. We are able to provide Singapore residents with more vacation options beyond land-based resorts and we hope to bring back the joy of cruising with safety being paramount.” Ahead of the December 1 resumption of its sailings from Singapore, Royal Caribbean has opened bookings for three- and four-night Ocean Getaways onboard its Quantum of the Seas cruise ship. Both cruise lines, which are homeported in Singapore, will implement enhanced safety protocols during the pilot cruises. In line with the resumption of cruising, the STB is developing a mandatory CruiseSafe certification programme, which sets out stringent hygiene and safety measures throughout the passenger journey – from prior to boarding to after disembarkation. The certification programme is jointly developed by STB and DNV GL, a global classification body and recognised advisor in the maritime industry. The government will monitor the outcomes of the pilot sailings carefully in the coming months before deciding on the next steps for cruises, said STB. Prior to sailing, all cruise lines sailing out of Singapore must obtain the CruiseSafe certification, which requires independent assessment by a third-party certification firm. GCL and RCI are in the process of attaining the certification. They were approved for the pilot as they have demonstrated the ability to put in place stringent protocols and precautionary measures as part of their CruiseSafe certification, according to a press release by STB. The CruiseSafe standards include a mandatory Covid-19 test prior to boarding, strict and frequent cleaning and sanitisation protocols onboard, safe management measures aligned with prevailing national policy at the time of sailing, ensuring 100 per cent fresh air throughout the ship, reducing ship capacity to enable sufficient safe distancing, setting up onboard measures to discourage close contact and inter-mingling between groups; as well as emergency response plans for incidents relating to Covid-19. Pilot cruises will have to comply with safe management measures, such as mask-wearing and 1m-safe distancing. To ensure compliance, regular inspections will be conducted on board during the pilots. Cruise lines that are found to be non-compliant will be subjected to penalties including fines, suspension of sailings and revocation of CruiseSafe certification. The crew on pilot cruises are subjected to stringent measures beyond Singapore’s prevailing requirements for cross-border travel. For example, the crew who need to enter Singapore to serve on board the pilot cruises must first undergo 14 days of isolation in their home country and must test negative for Covid-19 before their departure to Singapore. They will be tested on arrival in Singapore, serve a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) in Singapore, and will undergo another test at the end of their SHN. Once sailings begin, all crew members will also be routinely tested.