Explorer Dream will be the first liner in the world to resume cruise operations.
Genting Cruise Lines has become the first cruise line in the world to resume sailing since the coronavirus pandemic.
The cruise operator has announced the restart of operations for Dream Cruises next month with Explorer Dream operating two- and three-night ‘Taiwan Island-Hopping’ cruises from July 26.
The cruises depart from Keelung and call 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 with Taiwan,” said Tan Sri KT Lim, chairman and chief executive officer of Genting Hong Kong.
Genting will be basing safety protocols on its first-hand experience of chartering two of its ships, SuperStar Aquarius and SuperStar Gemini, in Singapore to house foreign workers. It has been working 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’.
Re-evaluated health protocols on board include social distancing in restaurants and entertainment and public areas, 100% fresh air ventilation in passenger cabins and public areas throughout the ship and enhanced hygiene practices.
Isolation rooms are available in the Medical Centre and cabins can be converted into quarantine rooms if required.
In accordance with Taiwanese regulations, Explorer Dream has undergone a thorough deep cleaning and strict quarantine procedures for her crew. All crew will undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine after the ship arrives in Keelung on June 30 and on receiving a negative test result, will be isolated for an additional seven days on board the ship.
Genting has been operating in Taiwan for 25 years. Taiwan has suffered a relatively low number of coronavirus and its response has been lauded as one of the most effective in the world. The Taiwanese government is now attempting to reinvigorate the economy and open up domestic tourism.
“We thank Taiwan for their initiatives to re-start their economy… as well we appreciate the support of the travel industry in the restart of our cruise operations,” said Kent Zhu, president of Genting Cruise Lines.