Genting Hong Kong subsidiary Genting Cruise Lines will become the first cruise ship operator in the world to restart cruise operations after announcing that its Dream Cruises brand will begin two and three night itineraries in Taiwan from 26 July.
In a small step forward for the embattled cruise industry, Genting said it is now relaunching its “Taiwan Island-Hopping” itineraries, with the Explorer Dream ship to depart 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,” said Genting Hong Kong Chairman and CEO, Lim Kok Thay.
“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.
“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’.”
Genting said Taiwan’s low COVID-19 cases versus global figures had allowed for the resumption of operations, while the company has implemented a range of hygiene and operating protocols including social distancing in dining, entertainment and public areas.
The Explorer Dream crew will be primarily sourced from other Genting Cruise Lines ships, Genting said, with all to have been quarantined for the last three months and to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine on land following the ship’s arrival 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 preventive procedures for all crew before operations begin on 26 July.