Royal Caribbean International and Genting Cruise Lines are taking to the high seas again with cruises to nowhere from Singapore. These voyages will have no destination.
The Singapore Tourist Board (STB) has developed its CruiseSafe program — strict new safety procedures to protect passengers from COVID-19 and it is working with cruise lines to test a limited number of trips sailing to “nowhere.”
While passengers won’t be able to visit different countries, they will still be able to enjoy the facilities, food and weather onboard the ships that will only be at 50 percent capacity.
Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas will sail for up to four nights in December, leaving and returning to Singapore, aimed at domestic passengers. Genting’s Dream Cruises will set sail next month.
“Working very closely with the Singapore government, Dream Cruises was granted approval by the local authorities to start a pilot based on the company’s stringent and enhanced health and safety protocols, complemented by its exemplary safety track record during its first two months of operations in Taiwan,” said Genting in a statement.
The Government will monitor the outcomes of the pilot sailings carefully in the coming months before deciding on the next steps for cruises.
STB’s CruiseSafe was created in consultation with the industry and is benchmarked against global health and safety standards. Singapore is one of the first countries in the world to develop and implement a mandatory audit and certification program for cruise lines before they can commence sailings.
Prior to sailing, all cruise lines sailing out of Singapore must obtain the CruiseSafe certification, which requires independent assessment by a third-party certification firm.
Genting Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean International are in the process of attaining the certification. They were approved for the pilot as they have demonstrated the ability to put in place stringent protocols and precautionary measures as part of their CruiseSafe certification.
The CruiseSafe standards include:
- Infection control measures at every stage of a passenger’s journey, including a mandatory COVID-19 test prior to boarding
- Strict and frequent cleaning and sanitization protocols onboard
- Safe management measures aligned with prevailing national policy at the time of sailing
- Ensuring 100 per cent fresh air throughout the ship
- Reducing ship capacity to enable sufficient safe distancing
- Setting up onboard measures to discourage close contact and inter-mingling between groups
- Emergency response plans for incidents relating to COVID-19
As part of CruiseSafe, the pilot cruises will have to comply with prevailing safe management measures, such as mask-wearing and social distancing. To ensure compliance, regular inspections will be conducted on board during the pilots. Cruise lines that are found to be non-compliant will be subjected to penalties including fines, suspension of sailings and revocation of CruiseSafe certification.
Please click here for more details on CruiseSafe protocols and on-board activities.
For a look at CLIA’s 2020 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook report, click here.