Hop aboard for Hari Raya-themed cruises to nowhere

Above: Madam Farhana Ahmad Mashon and her three children (from left) Qamaruzzaman Abdullah, Muhammed Ohn Abdullah and Maskurah Shamsudin are one of the 10 families receiving aid from Jamiyah Singapore who will be invited on board the Hari Raya cruise
Madam Farhana Ahmad Mashon and her three children (from left) Qamaruzzaman Abdullah, Muhammed Ohn Abdullah and Maskurah Shamsudin are one of the 10 families receiving aid from Jamiyah Singapore who will be invited on board the Hari Raya cruise on May 23. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID
Above: Madam Farhana Ahmad Mashon and her three children (from left) Qamaruzzaman Abdullah, Muhammed Ohn Abdullah and Maskurah Shamsudin are one of the 10 families receiving aid from Jamiyah Singapore who will be invited on board the Hari Raya cruise
Chef Mel Dean is one of the celebrity chefs who will do halal cooking demonstrations on board. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

Dream Cruises is launching a Hari Raya-themed trip on the World Dream cruise liner to celebrate the end of Ramadan.

The three-night cruises to nowhere will have two sailings, departing from Singapore on May 16 and 23.

They will feature halal cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, who will whip up halal pastries and dishes.

A new menu will be introduced at the vessel's Crystal Life Spa offering massages and body scrubs that use alcohol-free products.

The Straits Times understands that the Hari Raya cruises have been "selling very well" since the operator began marketing them last month.

While the cruises cater to Muslim guests, non-Muslims can also buy tickets. Dream Cruises said tickets for sailings in May start from $179 per person.

The Hari Raya-themed cruises will take place after Ramadan.

And for Muslim guests who take to the high seas during the fasting month, which falls between April 13 and May 12, measures will be in place.

Guests will be able to join communal prayer sessions and spiritual lectures on trips from April 11 to May 14 as part of a Ramadan spiritual experience, the first itinerary of its kind on board a cruise liner.

Muslim guests boarding the World Dream during Ramadan can also have meals served before they start their fast at dawn.

The cruises announced yesterday come after World Dream received positive feedback from guests for its halal-friendly trips introduced last December.

The World Dream has welcomed around 5,000 Muslim passengers since it was recognised as the first halal-friendly cruise ship in the Asia-Pacific on Dec 11, said Dream Cruises president Michael Goh.

More than 100,000 people have taken trips on the World Dream and Royal Caribbean International's Quantum of the Seas ship since the pilot programme to reboot the cruise industry began in November.

Meanwhile, Dream Cruises signed a memorandum of understanding with non-profit Jamiyah Singapore yesterday.

Part of the collaboration involves Dream Cruises donating 10 per cent of its proceeds from selected group sales bookings to Jamiyah Singapore. Ten families receiving aid from Jamiyah Singapore will also be invited on board the Hari Raya cruise on May 23.

"Many helping hands are needed to restore confidence and support to people whose earnings and incomes have been affected by the loss of jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic," said Jamiyah Singapore president Mohd Hasbi Abu Bakar.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2021, with the headline 'Hop aboard for Hari Raya-themed cruises to nowhere'. Subscribe