SINGAPORE - Cruise travellers will soon have more regional destinations to choose from and can also look forward to longer sailings from Singapore.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said it has observed more ports reopening in the region - as countries recover from the pandemic - and that it expects more operators to include the region in their itineraries.
Royal Caribbean International said its ship Spectrum of the Seas, which has a capacity of 5,600, will be adding Phuket as a port of call from October. A four-day cruise, with stops in Thailand and Malaysia, will start from $349 per person.
A Resorts World Cruises spokesman said from November, it will be organising five-night sailings on board Genting Dream to destinations such as Phuket and Bali.
Genting Dream, which can accommodate 3,352 passengers, will call at Port Klang, Penang and Phuket in a five-night sailing departing from Singapore on Nov 20. A cabin for two starts from $1,418.
STB's director of cruise Jacqueline Ng said it is continuing discussions with other cruise lines to operate sailings from Singapore and looks forward to welcoming them.
She added: "Prior to Covid-19, Singapore saw strong growth in cruise passenger throughput as well as the volume and size of cruise ships calling at our terminals.
"We expect the cruise industry in Singapore to return to pre-pandemic levels between 2023 and 2024."
In 2019, Singapore had more than 1.8 million cruise passengers. More than 400 cruise ships across 30 brands also called at ports here that year.
Some of these ships will be returning soon.
TUI Cruises, which typically serves a German-speaking market, will be lining up six 14-day round trips departing from Singapore between Dec 7, 2022, and March 1, 2023.
Most of its guests are expected to take a flight from countries such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland to board the Mein Schiff 5 when it docks in Singapore.
Destinations in the 14-day voyage include Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Koh Samui in Thailand.
On Sept 28, French luxury cruise vessel Le Laperouse stopped in Singapore for two nights as part of a 14-night sailing which included stops in Bali and Java.
It was also the first cruise ship to call at HarbourFront Passenger Terminal since the Covid-19 pandemic began, Singapore Cruise Centre said.
Mr Kenneth Seet, 32, who went on a three-night cruise to Penang in September with his wife and two-year-old son, is looking forward to cruises to Phuket and Bali, which are known for their pristine beaches.
Mr Seet, who leads commercial operations at a tech company, said: "For longer cruises, we can disembark and visit the location. I would enjoy relaxing by the beach and taking part in water sports if such activities are available."