To provide assurance for safe cruising, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is developing a mandatory CruiseSafe certification programme with stringent hygiene and safety measures throughout the passenger journey, from prior to boarding, to after disembarkation.
STB said the safety and well-being of the local community, as well as passengers and crew remain the top priority. In light of this, the pilot cruises will be round-trips with no ports of call; sailing at a reduced capacity of up to 50%; and only open to Singapore residents.
Quantum of the Seas to follow in December
To allow time to review the operationalisation of enhanced safety protocols, the pilot cruises will start from November 6 with World Dream of Genting's Dream Cruises brand. Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas is then to begin sailing in December.
Genting Cruise Lines is offering a series of new 2 and 3-night sailings on World Dream. Michael Goh, President of Dream Cruises, 'Genting Cruise Lines is proud to continue its long and productive relationship with Singapore since 1993. We are confident that the resumption of operations in Singapore will further contribute and benefit the various local supply and related network chain of the cruise tourism sector.'
The government will monitor the outcomes of the pilot sailings carefully in the coming months before deciding on the next steps for cruises.
Singapore requires all cruise lines must obtain the CruiseSafe certification, which requires independent assessment by a third-party certification firm.
CruiseSafe was created in consultation with the industry and is benchmarked against global health and safety standards. The certification programme is jointly developed by STB and DNV GL, and takes into consideration global standards and protocols form global institutes such as the World Tourism Organisation, World Health Organisation, Cruise Lines International Association and Singapore's own national safe management measures and certification programmes such as SG Clean.
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 STB said.
The CruiseSafe standards include mandatory COVID-19 test prior to boarding, strict and frequent cleaning and sanitisation protocols on board and safe management measures aligned with prevailing national policy at the time of sailing, mask-wearing and 1mtr safe distancing.
To ensure compliance, regular inspections will be conducted during the pilot programme.