Singapore has unveiled plans for a limited return of the cruise sector from next month.
Officials have argued new, enhanced protocols will make it safe for the two cruise lines homeported in the country to sail again.
To provide assurance for safe cruising, the Singapore Tourism Board is developing a mandatory CruiseSafe certification programme, which sets out stringent hygiene and safety measures throughout the passenger journey – from prior to boarding, to after disembarkation.
Any sailings will thus be round-trips with no ports of call, with a reduced capacity of up to 50 per cent and only open to Singapore residents.
To allow time to review the operationalisation of enhanced safety protocols, the pilot cruises will start from November 6th with Genting Cruise Lines’ World Dream.
Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas will begin sailing in December.
The government will monitor the outcomes of the pilot sailings carefully in the coming months before deciding on the next steps for cruises.
CruiseSafe was created in consultation with the industry and is benchmarked against global health and safety standards.
Singapore is one of the first countries in the world to develop and implement a mandatory audit and certification programme for cruise lines before they can commence sailings.
Prior to sailing, all cruise lines sailing out of Singapore must obtain the CruiseSafe certification, which requires independent assessment by a third-party certification firm.
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.