An inaugural ceremony took place ahead of departure at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, attended by Kent Zhu, president, Genting Cruise Lines; Edward Yau Tang-wah, secretary for commerce and economic development; Yiu Si-wing, legislative councillor of tourism constituency of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and legislative council of HKSAR; Vivian Sum, commissioner for tourism and Pang Yiu-kai, chairman, Hong Kong Tourism Board.
It will be the only cruise ship to operate during the summer months in Hong Kong after Royal Caribbean International said Spectrum of the Seas would be delayed until Oct. 5.
Some 1,000 passengers are aboard for the inaugural cruise.
Voyages sold out through August
‘We are extremely proud that Genting Dream will be the first cruise ship to restart operations in Hong Kong and we are grateful for the support we have received from the Hong Kong government, authorities and trade partners for their trust in Dream Cruises,’ announced Zhu during the festivities. ‘We have also been very encouraged by the response to our Super Seacation Cruises with sold out and very strong bookings throughout the month of August.
‘With the increase in the rate of vaccinations in the city, we are confident that our Super Seacation cruises will become one of the most popular vacation options for the residents of Hong Kong in the near future.’
His remarks were followed by those of Yau Tang-wah who said, ‘I am pleased to see a well-manned and fully replenished cruise ship awaiting to embark on a voyage and meeting the public aspiration for some form of leisure travel.
‘We are also thankful to have the cruise trade’s commitment to complying with a set of stringent infection control measures specifically designed for cruise travel. I want to emphasise and express my appreciation that in addition to requirements imposed by the health authorities, cruise lines have implemented some additional arrangements of their own accord to safeguard the well-being of their passengers as well as the hard-earned reopening of cruise travel.'
Health and hygiene
All Genting Dream crew were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-July; passengers must also be fully jabbed 14 days prior to their departure date (unless exempt due to medical or age related reasons) and pass a COVID-19 PCR test 48 prior to sailing.
A PCR test machine is located on board for lab-level testing of COVID-19 and negative pressure isolation wards are located inside the ship’s medical centre, with reserve quarantine cabins available.
According to the cruise line, 100% fresh air is filtered through all cabins and public areas on board, with no recirculation of air between cabins. There are touchless hand washing stations at restaurants and temperature monitors throughout the ship.
On board activities are organised in accordance with permitted group sizes specific to each activity that are in line with Hong Kong guidelines, with measures in place to ‘discourage close contact between groups.’
On board entertainment and ‘Around the World at Sea’ themed sailings
Passengers sailing July 30 will encounter the ‘Magical Seacation’ programme featuring local magician Louis Yan.
On the August 1 sailing, Coffee Lam – a certified yoga instructor and the first Cantonese content creator to gain more than a million followers on YouTube – will conduct two signature yoga classes. Lam will also headline Vitamin Sea and Dream, an integrated wellness lifestyle concept that makes its Hong Kong debut on Genting Dream by bringing together health experts, wellness and fitness gurus.
A series of themed ‘Around the World at Sea’ cruises are to take place, with passengers set to witness a Japanese-focussed immersive experience on board throughout September. A historically popular destination with local Hong Kong residents, the country will be represented through a 360 degree Japanese Festival at Sea combining a myriad of activities and elements, including decorations, arts and crafts workshops and cultural performances.
In addition to free tastings of non-export Okinawa Wagyu beef, there will be Japanese festival deli food stalls that offer Okinawa long pork sausage, Okinawa one snap pork chop, okonomiyaki and takoyaki from Osaka.
In October, the ship will pay homage to traditional German festival Oktoberfest by serving German beers and Bavarian culinary specialties, such as crispy pork knuckles and pretzels. Passengers will be able to participate in workshops to learn how to make apfelstrudel and Bavarian potato salad. Bavarian Folk dances and games will be performed with prizes going to the best dressed.