Royal Caribbean International is intent on making a big splash in the local cruise holiday market with its first year-long deployment schedule in Singapore.
From June 25, 2015, its Legend of the Seas vessel will homeport from Singapore till November. The vessel will make round trips lasting three to 10 days to destinations in Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, as well as two consecutive 14-night itineraries in the month of September sailing from Singapore to Perth (Fremantle), Australia, followed by a return route via Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Western Australia.
The baton will then be passed onto sister-ship Mariner of the Seas for another six months during the winter season of 2015 through 2016 to complete the year-long schedule. The itinerary of this voyage is not yet available.
"We are going year-round as the time has come for us to deepen our commitment to this market and be able to offer our cruises more regularly to our guests," said Royal Caribbean Cruises (Asia) Corporate Communications Manager, Ms Chin Ying Duan. "The local cruise market has been growing strongly in the recent years with greater consumer awareness and attraction to cruising as a vacation option."
The cruise operator is expecting more Singaporeans to take on the shorter round trips as the sail dates also coincides with school holiday periods, while more international guests are expected to board the longer cruises of 10 nights or more.
Recent infrastructure developments in the Marina Bay area are also set to better facilitate the bigger crowd heading to board ships at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre where Royal Caribbean ships are docked.
A $7 million upgrade earlier this year of the cruise centre aims to expedite boarding and disembarking times through various enhancements, such as an additional passenger bridge, improved baggage handling systems and a redesigned taxi area.
With the opening of the Marina South Pier MRT station in November, those travelling to the cruise centre now have another option. The destination was previously accessible mainly by bus, taxi, or personal transport given the far-flung location.