Get ready to float around Singapore without really leaving home next month after two lines were given the green light to resume operations.
The Royal Caribbean and Genting Cruise lines can return to the seas in November after eight months in mothballs, the Singapore Tourism Board announced today, so long as strict health and safety protocols are in place. Those protocols include halving capacity, booking only Singapore residents – and not actually calling on any other ports.
Royal Caribbean International today said it would pilot its “Quantum of the Seas” cruise in December for passengers looking to spend two nights at sea from S$334 (US$245) per person. Unsaid was if it would set sail for other sights or just do laps around the city-state. It’s also selling watery getaways of three to four nights from S$374 (US$275). Activities aboard the 348-meter vessel include a sky-diving simulator and a glass observation platform with a 360-degree view that lifts people 300 feet into the air.
Can’t wait? Genting Cruise will sell “World Dream” cruises into the South China Sea starting Nov. 6. Passengers can spend two to three nights aboard the 335-meter ship and take part in a broadway show and virtual reality race, or splash about its massive waterpark from S$359 (US$264) per person.
Both cruise lines must ensure virus prevention protocols are in place, which include testing guests and crew members, stringent cleaning practices and upgraded ventilation systems for better air filtration.
It’s a long haul for the ailing industry which was devastated by the pandemic after cruise ships worldwide became floating hot zones where COVID-19 spread unchecked, sickening thousands, some of whom died.
The tourism board signaled its willingness to resume cruises since at least last month, when it sought a company to devise the necessary safety measures appropriate for two- to four-night voyages. The S$145,000 contract was awarded to Norway’s DNV GL.
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