Asia's largest cruise ship begins S'pore leg

The Spectrum of the Seas, berthed at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre. It began the Singapore season of its maiden voyage this month.
The Spectrum of the Seas, berthed at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre. It began the Singapore season of its maiden voyage this month.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Asia's largest cruise ship, Spectrum of the Seas, is on the Singapore leg of its maiden voyage.

The 170,000 ton ship of the Royal Caribbean can carry more than 5,600 passengers and is the company's first vessel to be designed with Asian guests in mind.

Offering innovations such as robotic bartenders, virtual reality bungee jumping and family suites with in-room slides, it hopes to cater to multi-generational families and millennial guests.

The Spectrum of the Seas is the first of three Quantum Ultra class ships.

It began its Singapore season this month, and has three sailings of three to nine nights to destinations such as Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City and Hong Kong.

It will arrive at its home port in Shanghai next month.

The three Singapore sailings are sold out, said Royal Caribbean.

The vessel's maiden call was celebrated yesterday with an exchange of plaques between Captain Charles Teige, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) chairman Chaly Mah and Sats-Creuers Cruise Services chief executive Lionel Wong.

Royal Caribbean also announced a new seven-month home-porting season in Singapore for an existing 4,905-passenger ship, Quantum of the Seas, due to popular demand.

From October next year to April 2021, 40 sailings will be offered, making the deployment the longest by a Quantum class ship in South-east Asia.

This will add about 180,000 guests to the Singapore cruise scene.

Mr Gavin Smith, senior vice-president of International Royal Caribbean Cruises, said bringing in two of the company's largest and most innovative ships reaffirms its confidence in Singapore as the region's leading cruise gateway.

"Royal Caribbean has big ambitions for Asia, and Singapore sits at the heart of our growth in this region," he said.

Ms Jeannie Lim, assistant chief executive of the policy and planning group at STB, welcomed the deployments, saying they would "add to the diverse cruise offerings in the region".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2019, with the headline 'Asia's largest cruise ship begins S'pore leg'. Print Edition | Subscribe