Here’s a news update for your sea sailors: Cruises are now adding more regional destinations and longer sailings from Singapore! With the cruise season on the rise, we’re putting together the latest cruise updates, sailings, and COVID-19 guidelines just for you.
With the holiday season just around the corner, many eager travellers are looking towards the cruise industry for a short getaway trip on the high seas. Unlike ocean liners, which are typically used as a form of transport, most cruise lines usually feature a myriad of activities to do onboard! The amazing technological advancement of amenities onboard has also made cruise ships somewhat of a destination in their own right.
If you’re looking to find out more about this amazing form of leisure, look no further than this article! We’ll be breaking down news and current information regarding the cruise industry that may just entice you to hop online to book an unparalleled experience of your own.
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Returning To Pre-COVID Norms
Image Credits: Royal Caribbean Cruises
Few can deny that nothing beats spending a fulfilling relaxation onboard one of these large cruise ships when looking for an alternative to your typical holiday overseas. However, over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, some have lamented the fact that the excitement of cruising to another region for a brief “shore excursion”, was missing. Well, wait no longer, because the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has finally heard our pleas!
Since the pandemic restrictions, the first cruise destination sailing from Singapore in Southeast Asia was Malaysia’s Port Klang from Singapore on 1 July 2022. Being two of the most well-known brands of cruises in Singapore, Royal Caribbean International and Resorts World Cruises (formerly operating as Dream Cruises) have been constantly trying to one-up each other in announcing a slew of new offerings that feature port calls to other regions (woo, more for us!).
For some time now, Singapore has been looking to return to its pre-COVID-19 levels of cruise activity, which was at a high of more than 1.8 million cruise passengers and over 400 cruise ships from 30 brands calling port that year! Fret not, because although it’s definitely going to be a challenge, STB’s director of cruises, Jacqueline Ng, has stated that they expect the domestic cruise industry to return to pre-pandemic levels in the period of 2023 to 2024! So keep an eye out for discounts on cruise fares and more offerings that feature port calls to other cruise destinations soon! We can’t wait.
Information Regarding COVID-19 Guidelines & Restrictions
|Cruise Operators||COVID-19 Guidelines (Pre-Cruise Testing, Vaccination, Indoor Mask Wearing)|
|Royal Caribbean International||Unvaccinated guests aged 5 – 11:|
✅ Must present a negative test result for a COVID-19 antigen or PCR test taken within the 3 days before boarding day, for sailings of any length
Fully vaccinated guests aged 12 & older:
✅ No pre-cruise testing requirements for sailings of 9 nights or less
✅ On sailings of 10 nights and longer, guests must present a negative test result for a COVID-19 antigen or PCR test taken within the 3 days before boarding day
✅ Kids aged 11 and younger who have been vaccinated may follow the testing protocols for vaccinated guests.
⛴ Mask-wearing indoors when onboard the ship is optional
|Resorts World Cruises||Guests embarking on the Genting Dream from either homeport in Singapore or Port Klang (Malaysia): |
✅ No longer required to undergo a pre-cruise Antigen Rapid Test (ART) for COVID-19.
All cruising guests above the age of 12 (13 years and older):
✅ Required to be fully vaccinated to be eligible to cruise
⛴ Mask-wearing indoors when onboard the ship is optional
|Celebrity Cruises||⛴ Mask-wearing indoors when onboard the ship is optional|
⚠️ Please consult the cruise agency for guidelines regarding pre-cruise testing and vaccination requirements
Cruise Sailings To Phuket
Image Credits: Pullman Phuket
If you’re a fan of the delicious mango sticky rice and savoury Pad Thai, you will be thrilled to know that Phuket, Thailand will be reopening its shores to cruise lines as a port of call destination from the month of October! This follows the previously announced discussions between the Singapore Tourism Board and Thai authorities that projected the resumption of port calls at popular destinations of Thailand by the third quarter of 2022, earlier this year in March.
From the month of October, supporters of Royal Caribbean International will be able to travel to Phuket as a port of call, onboard the Spectrum of the Seas. This “Quantum-Ultra-class” boasts a capacity of 5,600 and 18 decks, making it one of the largest ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet! A four-day cruise trip with stops in Thailand and Malaysia will set you back a minimum of $349 per person.
Following suit, Resorts World Cruises will also be launching their own five-night trips onboard the Genting Dream to destinations like Phuket and Bali from November. The Genting Dream which can accommodate up to 3,352 passengers, is scheduled to depart from Singapore on 20 November 2022 and will call at Port Klang, Penang, as well as Phuket.
Where Are You Heading To This Cruise Season: Check out our Beginner’s Bali Food Guide: What to Eat in Bali Indonesia 2022 for the scoop on all the tasty treats that are not to be missed before you hit the sandy beaches.
New Offerings And Cruise Lines
Image Credits: Conde Nast Traveler
In lieu of the relaxation of restrictive measures, STB has announced that they’re in discussions with more cruise lines to operate sailings from Singapore as countries recover from the pandemic. If you’ve been onboard ships from both Royal Caribbean International and Resorts World Cruises, and are looking for unique alternatives, look no further because we’ve got you covered!
Why not try out TUI Cruises? Based in Germany, this Joint Venture between TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruises has recently announced itineraries featuring 14-day round trips that include destinations like Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City and Thailand’s Koh Samui. The Mein Schiff 5 which has a passenger capacity of 2,534 and usually caters to the European market, is scheduled to depart regularly from Singapore between 7 Dec 2022 and 1 March 2023. Sound appealing to you?
Not forgetting the potential of Singapore’s busy ports and the appeal that the country holds with respect to foreign visitors, we’ve got another cruise line coming your way. All aboard the French cruise vessel, Le Laperouse! This cruise line recently stopped in Singapore for two nights as part of a 14-night itinerary on 28 September 2022.
The port call at HabourFront Passenger Terminal is the first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also features Bali and Java as two other locations that were planned on the itinerary from the luxurious cruise liner, Ponant. Get ready for those stunning beaches and iconic rice fields!
Where Are You Heading To This Cruise Season: Check out Potato Head when in Bali!
Vietnam’s Saigon River & Japan’s Bay Area
Image Credits: Lonely Planet
Speaking of TUI Cruises’ 14-day round trip itineraries that have plans to call at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, you’ll be pleased to know that Royal Caribbean International has also listed itineraries that will feature Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang as well as Bangkok, Thailand, as port of calls starting from January of 2024!
Additionally, if you’re looking to travel out of Southeast Asia, why not check out Royal Caribbean’s 12-night itinerary onboard the Spectrum of the Seas, that’s scheduled to sail to destinations like Nha Trang, Hong Kong, Taipei (Keelung), Kyoto (Osaka), Mt Fuji (Shimizu) and finally ending off at Tokyo (Yokohama). Sailing begins as early as July 2023 and offerings have already been made available online.
Keep your eyes peeled for more offerings from various cruise liners with regard to these locations because new destinations and packages are constantly being added!
Where Are You Heading To This Cruise Season: Check out our list of Best Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City 2022 in preparation for your fun-filled visit to Vietnam by sea!
Get Your Travel Insurance Here!
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Where Are You Heading To This Cruise Season: Read up more on the nitty-gritty of HL Assurance X YouTrip Travel Insurance here.
Sail Away On Your Next Cruise Adventure!
Now that you’re ready to sail the seas on your next cruise adventure, don’t forget to use your YouTrip card onboard and on your next cruise destination! Why not share this info with friends and family who aren’t yet in the know?
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