CruiseOriginally founded as Star Cruises, the cruise company has been integral in helping Singapore become the premier cruise hub in Asia.

Genting Cruise Lines celebrates 25 years of cruising in Singapore

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Pioneers from the ‘Class of 1993’ who played a key role in building the cruising scene in Singapore were feted at Genting Cruise Lines’ Silver Anniversary celebration.
Pioneers from the ‘Class of 1993’ who played a key role in building the cruising scene in Singapore were feted at Genting Cruise Lines’ Silver Anniversary celebration.

Originally founded in 1993 as what was known at that time as Star Cruises, the Genting cruise umbrella today sits three brands – Star Cruises for the masses, Dream Cruises for the higher-end market, and luxury brand Crystal Cruises.

Genting Cruise Lines celebrated its 25th year in the cruising business on December 14 onboard Genting Dream in Singapore with an event that saw nearly 500 guests representing government, travel agents, business partners and the media. 

Originally founded in 1993 as what was known at that time as Star Cruises, the Genting cruise umbrella today sits three brands – Star Cruises for the masses, Dream Cruises for the higher-end market, and luxury brand Crystal Cruises.

Playing a role in Singapore’s tourism and cruise strategy

During its time in the region, the group has been heavily credited for its role in drawing tourism into Singapore and ASEAN, and helping the former to become one of the leading cruise hubs in Asia. 

“Genting has been a significant partner in the development of Singapore’s cruise industry since 1993, when its first ship, the Star Aquarius, set sail on its maiden voyage from Singapore,” said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education Chee Hong Tat, who was the Guest of Honour at the celebration.

“Twenty-five years later, we are honoured to be the homeport for Genting Dream, which is the company’s largest ship built to serve Asia’s middle and affluent class. As a pioneer of Asia’s cruise industry, Genting has come a long way,” he added. 

In 2011, the company pioneered the first fly-cruise service in Asia together with Changi Airport Group and SATS. Last year, it entered into a S$28-million tripartite partnership with Singapore Tourism Board and Changi Airport Group to promote Genting Dream’s Singapore sailings. 

“Genting is committed to the continued success of Singapore as a global cruise hub,” said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, chairman and chief executive of Genting Cruise Lines.

As part of the commitment, the company will keep up its investment in its fly-cruise team to bring in more Chinese and international passengers to cruise from Singapore and increase passengers for Dream Cruises to half a million per year, he added. 

Sixty per cent of the cruise line’s 400,000 passengers in 2017 were fly-cruise guests from India and Indonesia. 

Building ships that appeal to Asian passengers 

Looking ahead, Genting Cruise Lines is expecting a new fleet of ships, which are currently being built at the MV Werften shipyard in Germany which it owns.

The decision to purchase the shipyard back in 2016 was so they could “build the ships the way we want them, where we want them, and when we want them,” in the words of Genting Cruise Line’s group president, Colin Au.

Set to be delivered from 2020 to 2023, the ships include: a 20,000 gross ton “Endeavor Class” expedition vessels for Crystal Cruises in 2020; a 200,000 gross ton “Global Class” vessel for Dream Cruises in 2021; a 67,000 gross ton “Diamond Class” ship for Crystal Cruises in 2022; and innovative “Contemporary Class” ships for Star Cruises in 2023. 

Features include public escalators, a Cineplex, theme park and technologies that look at improving the digital guest journey such as crowd management, information communication, security and payments. 

The new fleet is expected to steer the direction for the company into the future as it continues to “step out of Asia and follow Asians whereever they go,” said Au.


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