Hong Kong – Genting Cruise Lines announced the restart of cruise operations for Dream Cruises with Explorer Dream operating two and three-night “Taiwan Island-Hopping” itineraries beginning from 26 July 2020, departing from Keelung and calling at Penghu, Matzu and Kinmen islands.
“After months of detailed planning with the authorities to ensure the safety and health of guests and crew, we appreciate the approval of Explorer Dream resuming cruise operations in Taiwan. Dream Cruises will be the first cruise line in the world to begin sailing after the global cruise industry was shut down due to the pandemic,” said Tan Sri KT Lim, Chairman, and CEO of Genting Hong Kong.
“Our new standard operating procedures to ensure passenger safety draws on our first-hand experience from the charter of two of our ships in Singapore to house foreign workers and cooperating with DNV GL, the world’s largest classification society, for Explorer Dream to receive the world’s first “Certification in Infection Prevention for the Marine industry (CIP-M),” he continued.
Taiwan is the ideal destination for Genting Cruise Lines to resume Dream Cruises’ operations with the company’s 25 years of history with the island as both a destination and as a homeport and because of Taiwan’s popularity among travelers due to its scenic splendors and friendly citizens. Taiwan’s low numbers of COVID-19 cases compared to global figures has also been lauded by experts as one of the most effective response scenarios in the world.
Due to the success, Taiwan has experienced in controlling the pandemic within its borders, the local authorities have taken the proactive step to reinvigorate their economy and open up tourism. To support this endeavor, Dream Cruise will offer special island-hopping cruises calling into the popular ports and islands of Peng Hu, Matsu Island, and Kinmen where Taiwanese guests will again be able to enjoy refreshing short getaways on carefree ocean voyages.
“We thank Taiwan for their initiatives to re-start their economy and the tourism industry and the trust they have placed in Dream Cruises. As well, we appreciate the support of the travel industry in the restart of our cruise operations. This is truly a remarkable achievement which was made possible by the Taiwan authorities’ swift and effective handling of the COVID-19 crisis and their foresight in resuming the tourism industry to benefit all the ports, the economy and the lifestyle of the people of Taiwan,” said Kent Zhu, President of Genting Cruise Lines.
During the past few months, Genting Cruise Lines has completely re-examined and enhanced all of its health, hygiene and operating protocols to ensure the safest environment for everyone on board including social distancing in dining, entertainment and public areas, 100% fresh air ventilation in staterooms and operations throughout the ship.
Genting Cruise Lines has also worked with DNV GL, the largest classification society in the world, to adapt their hospital “Certification in Infection Prevention (CIP) for the Marine industry (CIP-M). Explorer Dream will be the first cruise ship in the world to receive the CIP-M certification, which will further verify the procedures and systems in place for the proper prevention, control, and mitigation of infection, to protect her passengers and crew.
In accordance with Taiwan’s regulations prior to resuming sailing, Explorer Dream has undergone a thorough deep cleaning and observation of strict quarantine procedures for her crew. The majority of the crew will be from other Genting Cruise Lines ships who have been quarantined for the last 3 months and all will undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine on land after the ship arrives in Keelung on 30 June. Upon negative nucleic acid test results, an additional 7-day isolation period on board Explorer Dream will provide a total of 21 days of exhaustive preventive procedures before operations begin on 26 July.
To safeguard the well-being of guests, stringent health screening processes and guidelines prior to embarkation, disembarkation and social distancing measures on board, as well as thorough sanitization and disinfection and enhanced hygiene practices for guest cabins and crew member quarters, public areas and recreational facilities, along with safe food and beverage handling procedures will be in place.
For example, all of Genting Cruise Lines’ ships allow for 100% external fresh air to be filtered and supplied to each passenger cabin as well as on board public areas ensuring a constant and healthy flow of fresh air throughout the vessels. Isolation wards are available in the Medical Centre and cabins can be converted into quarantine rooms if required.
As a further testament to the efficacy of the company’s enhanced preventive measures, two of Genting Cruise Lines’ ships, SuperStar Aquarius and SuperStar Gemini, are currently in Singapore as temporary accommodations for foreign workers after successfully completing careful assessment checks covering various aspects including safe distancing practices, the ships’ ventilation systems, and preventive and infection control measures. Throughout this successful initiative in collaboration with the authorities, the company has been able to further refine its standard operating procedures within a real-world context to ensure that all its Genting Cruise Lines’ ships, including Explorer Dream, will be the safest cruise ships for guests in the post-COVID era.