SINGAPORE - The biggest luxury ship currently based here departed on Thursday night (Nov 16) on its first cruise since making the Republic its home port, in a boost to Singapore’s ambitions of becoming a cruise hub in Asia.
Genting Hong Kong’s cruise liner Genting Dream, which has 18 decks and can host 3,352 passengers, will be sailing from Singapore to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar.
This is the first time Singapore is serving as the long-term home port of a luxury cruise ship of such a scale.
The 150,695-ton ship, which has a length of 335m, boasts nine restaurants and has attractions such as an outdoor party venue, rock climbing wall and what it bills as the largest reflexology spa at sea.
Previously, the largest ship to use Singapore as a home port was Royal Caribbean’s 348m-long Ovation of the Seas, which sailed from Singapore between March and April.
To promote Genting Dream, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Changi Airport Group (CAG) and Genting Cruise Lines have signed a tripartite partnership worth $28 million. This partnership will continue till 2020, and is estimated to bring in 600,000 visitors and more than $250 million in tourism receipts.
On Thursday, at a press conference on the ship, which was docked at Marina Bay Cruise Centre, president of Genting Cruise Lines Kent Zhu said the company will be promoting Singapore as a fly-cruise destination in more than 25 cities.
Said CAG chief executive Lee Seow Hiang: “The Asia-Pacific is currently the largest aviation market in the world, and will be the fastest growing region in the next 20 years. With Changi Airport’s strong air connectivity to more than 380 cities worldwide, Singapore is well positioned to capitalise on this growth opportunity and bring more fly-cruise traffic here, serving as a cruise hub for the region.”
STB chief executive Lionel Yeo said: “This tripartite partnership underscores Singapore’s drive to become South-east Asia’s leading cruise hub and is an integral part of our continual efforts in promoting fly-cruise from Singapore.”
President of Dream Cruises, which runs Genting Dream, Mr Thatcher Brown, said Singapore could collaborate with Qantas in the Australian market, now that the airline will be returning to Singapore.
The cruise ship will be based at Marina Bay Cruise Centre, and will offer two-night, three-night and five-night cruise itineraries.
The ship sailed on Thursday at 8pm on a one-night tour on the high seas and will return at 8am on Friday, before going on a special three-night opening party cruise to Phuket.
It starts normal operations after that.
Tickets for the one-night tour went at a special price of $99 each.