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Singapore's cruise industry faces headwinds

Travel agents reluctant to send staff for training to sell packages

Published on Apr 21, 2014 8:40 AM

A reluctance amongst travel agents here to get staff trained to sell cruise packages could take the wind out of Singapore's bid to ride on a growing market, say industry players.

The National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (Natas) said it is a problem they hope to address by working with cruise companies to run networking and training sessions.

"Some agents do not yet realise the potential for growth and the importance of the cruise industry," said Natas chief operating officer Anita Tan in response to queries from The Straits Times.

There were about 1.2 million Asian cruise passengers in 2012, said the 2012 Cruise Industry News Annual Report, and this is expected to hit 3.7 million in 2017.

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Background story

Categories of cruises


  • Brands: Royal Caribbean, Costa, Carnival Cruises, Aida, Star Cruises, MSC
  • Large resort-style ships that carry at least 1,000 passengers
  • Caters to the mass-market


  • Brands: Holland American Line, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, TUI (which will base a ship here from 2015)
  • Has more spacious rooms and higher quality service than contemporary ships
  • Caters to the discerning traveller


  • Brands: Seabourn, Silversea, Sea Dream, Azamara Cruises, Crystal Cruises
  • Smaller ships that carry around 100 passengers and have very high staff to passenger ratios
  • Operates longer cruises, typically 12 nights or longer
  • Targets international guests in Asia and wealthy Asians