Cruises to other countries in Asean may set sail later this year: STB

Only cruises-to-nowhere with no ports of calls are allowed in Singapore, which started in November 2020. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans may be able to take a cruise to other countries later this year, with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) commencing discussions with the authorities in Asean.

Speaking at the STB's year-in-review media conference on Tuesday (Jan 25), Ms Jeannie Lim, assistant chief executive of policy and planning group, said Singapore is in a good position, having developed the first set of safe cruising standards.

"We are in talks with the different governments in terms of harmonising some of these cruise safe standards, so that at least there is agreement on what are the safety protocols and processes that we will follow.

"And this will take some time. But we do hope to be able to restart some ports of calls hopefully later this year," she said.

Only cruises-to-nowhere with no ports of calls are currently allowed in Singapore. Such cruises started in November 2020.

Only two cruise lines here have been given the green light to offer these sailings. They are Genting Cruise Lines' Dream Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.

STB said consumers can look forward to Royal Caribbean's cruise ship Spectrum of the Seas, which will have new experiences onboard.

Royal Caribbean said earlier that Spectrum of the Seas will offer three- to nine-night sailings that will visit Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, starting from Oct 21 this year.

Ms Lim said there have been no Covid-19 clusters on cruise ships to date, although five positive cases have been detected across both cruise lines.

More than 400,000 domestic passengers have set sail on close to 300 sailings.

When asked if other operators have applied to run cruises here, Ms Lim said STB is in discussions with various cruise lines, many of which used to sail pre-Covid-19 out of Singapore. 

Some  operators here pre-pandemic include Costa Cruises,  Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises.

Under the CruiseSafe protocols, all  passengers are required to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test. Masks need to be worn at all times, and passengers must adhere to prevailing safe-management measures.

Both Dream Cruises’ World Dream and Royal Caribbean  require all passengers above 12 to be fully vaccinated.

Currently, cruises are allowed to have up to 50 per cent capacity. 

Previously, only Singapore residents were allowed to go on cruises here, but since late last year, these have been opened  to foreign visitors.

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