Travel-starved residents of Singapore will finally be able to set sail in November, even if their trip is only in one big circle.
The Singapore Tourism Board announced Thursday that two cruise lines will be allowed to offer Singapore residents "cruises to nowhere" under a pilot program with enhanced safety protocols and mandatory coronavirus testing for passengers and crew.
“This cruise pilot is a valuable opportunity for cruise operators to reinvent the entire cruise experience in order to regain the confidence of passengers," Singapore Tourism Board Chief Executive Keith Tan said in a statement. "As ASEAN’s lead coordinator for cruise development, Singapore remains committed to supporting and growing cruise tourism in the region."
As part of the pilot "CruiseSafe" certification program, the cruises will have round-trips with no ports of call and sail at a capacity of up to 50 percent.
The pilot cruises will also only be open to Singapore residents.
The tourism board said the pilot cruises will start on Nov. 6 with Genting Cruise Lines’ World Dream, while Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas will begin sailing in December.
Both ships have their homeport in Singapore.
Royal Caribbean International said that Singapore residents will be able to "satisfy those feelings of wanderlust" on three and four-night ocean getaways.
The cruise operator said it will implement a "comprehensive set of health and safety measures at every step of the guest journey" with rigorous protocols.
"Singapore residents are adventurous travelers, and we are so excited to give them the opportunity to get away from their daily grind and enjoy a thrilling world-class Ocean Getaway, with total peace of mind," Angie Stephen, managing director, Asia Pacific, Royal Caribbean International, said in a news release. "While the cruise experience will be different than it was pre-pandemic, we are committed to provide the signature Royal Caribbean holiday that guests know and love, while keeping the health and safety of everyone on board as our top priority."
|RCL||ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES||90.09||-0.54||-0.60%|
On it's Singapore website, Royal Caribbean notes it has "partnered with top medical minds and the Singapore Government to design our plan."
"From reducing the number of guests on board to no more than 50% occupancy and testing everyone before sailing, to cleanliness standards that rival the best hospitals, we promise we’ll never stop working to protect you and the ones you love," the company states.
Dream Cruises, which is owned by Genting Cruise Lines, said that public health and safety are the "utmost priority," and will offer two and three-night cruises as part of Dream Cruises’ “Super Seacation” experience.
“Due to the invaluable support and confidence of the Singapore authorities in Genting Cruise Lines, the inaugural homeport deployment of World Dream in Singapore marks another important milestone in the recovery process post COVID-19 for the local cruise tourism industry,” Dream Cruises President Michael Goh said in a statement.
Fox News' Ann Schmidt contributed to this report.