CruiseSingapore now welcomes VTL tourists in fly-cruise push, while Hong Kong sailings increase to 75% capacity.

Dream Cruises gets ready to fly

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World Dream has opened cruise bookings to non-residents locally as well as foreign visitors, including those entering via VTLs, starting 1 December.
World Dream has opened cruise bookings to non-residents locally as well as foreign visitors, including those entering via VTLs, starting 1 December. Photo Credit: Dream Cruises

Armed with a safe sailing record and constantly updated protocols in adherence to local governments' plans, Dream Cruises — the world's first cruise line to resume operations amid Covid-19 — is blazing a new trail: restarting Singapore's fly-cruise sector while upping sail capacity in Hong Kong.

World Dream in Singapore looks to welcome international travellers

As Singapore prepares to welcome international travellers from more than 20 Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) by the end of 2021, World Dream will tap into that market by opening cruise bookings to non-residents locally as well as foreign visitors, including those entering via VTLs. Previously, World Dream's sailings were only open to Singapore residents.

International travellers and non-residents in Singapore will be able to cruise with World Dream from 1 December, although sailings will still adhere to the existing cap of 50% cabins.

This move should also satiate locals' cruising appetite — as despite the Lion City's rapid succession of VTLs since October, a recent survey indicates that travellers are still looking to the high seas for their next holidays.

Said Michael Goh, President of Dream Cruises: "World Dream has carried over 200,000 guests since cruising resumed in Singapore on 6 November 2020...and we've been working hard towards this goal [of welcoming international travellers] with the demonstration of safe cruises over the past year.

"Our progression to the next phase of cruising is timely and we are highly optimistic that demand will continue to rise with the contribution of the fly-cruise segment."

To be eligible to cruise, international travellers entering Singapore will have to fulfil the mandatory border and health control measures related to Covid-19 as implemented by the local Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.

This includes additional Antigen Rapid Tests (ART) for all travellers entering Singapore on VTLs from 3 December, in view of the discovery of the new Omicron variant.

These supervised self-administered tests must be done at a quick test centre on Days 3 and 7 upon arrival — as opposed to current measures where VTL travellers need only take an on-arrival polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

Regardless of a guest's nationality, all passengers will need to be fully vaccinated, take a pre-sailing Antigen Rapid Test at the cruise terminal and receive negative results before boarding.

"With the support of the Singapore Tourism Board and local authorities, as well as from our local and international travel partners, we are excited to now welcome international travellers on World Dream under prevailing national guidelines and we look forward to exploring future possibilities, including destination cruises," said Goh.

Genting Dream in Hong Kong gets approval to raise passenger capacity

Meanwhile, after also becoming the first cruise line to resume sailings in Hong Kong on 30 July, Genting Dream will take in bookings until 75% capacity with effect from 1 December — up from the existing 50%, following the government's green light.

Completing one month of cruise operations [since the end of July] without any Covid-19 related incidents, Hong Kongers continue to show demand for holidays on the high seas, including repeat bookings.

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