Dream Cruises strengthens Asian footprint with diverse itineraries, localised offerings

Turning of the ‘Genting Dream Ship Wheel’ to celebrate the tripartite partnership and Genting Dream’s homeporting in Singapore.
Turning of the ‘Genting Dream Ship Wheel’ to celebrate the tripartite partnership and Genting Dream’s homeporting in Singapore.

The Asian luxury cruise line is set to make waves in the region with Genting Dream, homeporting in Singapore, and the new World Dream, in Hong Kong and Nansha.

Making a bid for the fly-cruise market
A year after making its debut with Genting Dream, Dream Cruises is making serious efforts to boost its fly-cruise market, starting with a S$28-million(US$20.63-million) three-year tripartite partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board and Changi Airport Group to promote Singapore as a key tourism destination and Asian cruise hub.

Announced on November 16 during the return of Genting Dream to Singapore, its first homeport in Southeast Asia, the collaboration will prove beneficial for Genting Dream as 70% of its business is fly-cruise, with key source markets including Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China, according to Michael Goh, senior vice president of sales, Genting Cruise Lines.

To cater to the diverse mix, Genting Dream offers two- to five-night itineraries that allow guests to see new destinations such as North Bali and Surabaya while experiencing Singapore.

“For any international passenger coming to Singapore, they will be able to extend their stays pre- or post-cruise, whether they are on the five-night Surabaya-Bali or Port Klang-Penang-Phuket journey. These itineraries are an excellent platform to promote cruising and Singapore as a seven-night getaway on the international market,” said Goh. 

Similarly, the fly-cruise market is important for World Dream, which debuted on November 17. With homeports in Nansha (Guangzhou) and Hong Kong, its source markets “can be in Asia or long-haul, as passengers can easily fly to Hong Kong”, according to Kenneth Wong, general manager, MICE & Cruise of Hong Kong Tourism Board. 

Genting is planning to build Hong Kong up as one of its most important bases, taking advantage of cruising being a known and popular concept for Hong Kongers. Additional homeport Nansha ensures a long-term strategy in the Pearl River Delta.  

In terms of itinerary, World Dream will focus on two new destinations, Vietnam and the Philippines. “We have a high percentage of repeat passengers and thus, need to provide new product routes constantly,” explained Kent Zhu, president of Genting Cruise Lines. 

Localising to fit different needs

While World Dream shares DNA with sister ship Genting Dream in terms of values, facilities, staff and size, there are nuances that set them apart, allowing Dream Cruises to cater to different markets effectively.

Explained Thatcher Brown, president of Dream Cruises, “When you build a brand, there’ll be certain aspects of the experience that are consistent. We just doubled in size and there are things you’ll recognise right away that’s critical to who we are as a brand… That said, we also localise our product to fit the market.” Food & beverage is one way in which Dream Cruises tailors its approach.

For instance, to cater to India, a ‘critically important’ source market for Genting Dream, there are prolific vegetarian options in The Lido, a buffet restaurant onboard the ship; the popularity of celebrity chef restaurant Bistro by Mark Best reflects the market’s appreciation of organic produce from Australia. 

Enrichment is another key focus for Genting Dream with passengers who are keen on lifestyle pursuits such as wellness. The upcoming Yoga Academy featuring celebrity instructor Denise Keller will answer to this desire. 

Conversely, with World Dream being heavily slanted towards the domestic market (its clientele is estimated to be made up of 48% Mainland Chinese and 40% Hong Kongers, according to Zhu), Chinese cuisine takes centre stage, along with a seafood restaurant and hot pot that also reflect passengers’ taste preferences. 

As more Chinese cruisers become increasingly interested in the luxury end of the cruise spectrum, World Dream has added ten more suites in Dream Palace. Family and kids are also high on its priority, which explains the ship’s latest feature: ESC Experience Lab featuring virtual reality gaming. 

“Our core remains true to being Asia’s luxury cruise line, but we will index in areas including F&B, entertainment, retail and onboard experiences to cater to the different market mix. This is important; we will learn as we go,” said Brown. 

What’s New on World Dream

The production "Sonio" on World Dream.
The production "Sonio" on World Dream.

• “Sonio” & “Some Like it hot” – new productions onboard
• Asia’s first Tiffany & Co. Sea
• ESC Experience Lab: Virtual reality gaming at sea

• World’s first Himalayan Sea Salt Treatment at Sea
• Vintage Room: Private dining room with customised culinary experiences

Thatcher Brown, president of Dream Cruises.
Thatcher Brown, president of Dream Cruises.

“When you build a brand, there’ll be certain aspects of the experience that are consistent… 
That said, we also localise our product to fit the market.” 
– Thatcher Brown, president of Dream Cruises. 

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