The Singapore Tourism Board will oversee the test program, requiring cruise lines to undergo a mandatory certification program before starting operations.
Two cruise ships have been selected to start the trial program. Genting Cruise Line’s World Dream and Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas.
The World Dream is due to begin sailing on November 6 from Singapore becoming the second cruise ship that Genting has returned to service. She will offer two and three-night sea cruises with no ports.
The trial program is timed to coincide with Singapore’s school and year-end holidays. Due to begin sailing on December 1, the Quantum of the Seas currently would be the first of Royal Caribbean International's cruise ships to return to service since the suspension in March 2020.
The Singapore government approved the pilot cruises with Royal Caribbean sailing three and four-night cruises to nowhere.
Royal Caribbean immediately began accepting reservations for the new program. Singapore has established a strict set of protocols that the cruise lines will be required to meet to begin service.
They will each be required to participate in mandatory audit and certification program before they can commence sailing.
It includes developing health and safety protocols for the terminals and on board as well as ensuring 100 percent fresh air throughout the ship and an emergency response plan for incidents relating to COVID-19.
During the trial phase, the cruise lines are also agreeing to operate at no more than 50 percent of capacity, require mask wearing on board and social distancing practices.
The cruises are only available for Singapore residents and require a negative COVID-19 test. Genting said testing would be required for passengers age 13 and above while guests age seven and older are also required to be registered on Singapore’s tracing technology programs.
Singapore is requiring the crew aboard each of the cruise ships first undergo 14-day isolations in their home country and must test negative for COVID-19 before their departure to Singapore.
They will be tested on arrival in Singapore, serve a further 14-day stay home notice in Singapore, and will undergo another test at the end of that second 14-day period. Once sailings begin, all crew members will also be routinely tested.
The government of Singapore said that it will monitor the outcomes of the pilot sailings carefully in the coming months before deciding on the next steps for cruises.
To ensure compliance, regular inspections will be conducted onboard during the pilot programs. Cruise lines that are found to be non-compliant will be subjected to penalties, including fines, suspension of sailings, and revocation of CruiseSafe certification.