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COVID-19 spike curtails cruising in Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia

Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas, pictured here, and Star Cruises' World Dream will continue cruises to nowhere for Singapore residents, however, the ships will sail at 25% and have other restrictions
Following COVID-19 upticks in Asia, Singapore restricted cruise ship capacity, while Taiwan and Malaysia temporarily suspended cruising altogether.

Dream Cruises' World Dream and Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas will continue to offer their cruises to nowhere for Singapore residents, however, the ships will sail at 25% capacity with bookings limited to two passengers per cabin.

These measures follow a May 14 announcement by Singapore’s multi-ministry COVID-19 task force placing the city-state under heightened alert status. The restrictions are in effect from May 16 until June 13.

No in-restaurant dining

In line with the government’s temporary city-wide ban on in-venue dining, on-board restaurants will be closed, but passengers on both ships can still order takeaway meals in addition to room service.

Quantum of the Seas will be reducing occupancy in public venues to at least 16 square meters per passenger, which includes all pools, hot tubs and the SeaPlex indoor activity venue. Theatre shows will admit only 50 attendees.

On board World Dream, outdoor activities or any activities without face masks will be temporarily suspended, while 'permitted on-board activities will continue to be available and operate at reduced capacity with enhanced social distancing and safe measures,' a company spokesperson said. 

Both lines are reaching out to affected passengers to postpone cruise bookings, receive credit for a future cruise or opt for a full refund.

Taiwan halt to June 8

In Taiwan, Dream Cruises suspended operations of Explorer Dream until June 8, following instructions from the Maritime and Port Bureau, MOTC. This is in response to the May 11 elevation of Taiwan’s epidemic warning to Level 2 by the Central Epidemic Command Center.

Malaysia restart delayed

In Malaysia, Genting Cruise Lines postponed Star Cruises' launch of Star Pisces from Penang following a government-mandated nationwide lockdown begun May 12, the eve of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, through June 7, in a bid to control a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

Star Cruises had planned to kick off one- and two-night scenic cruises to Langkawi on May 13. According to a Genting Cruise Line spokesperson, the company will continue to work closely with the local authorities on the feasibility of deployment in the near future.