Hong Kongers could be getting out of town, finally, on board Genting Dream.
As Hong Kong’s lockdown stretches into a second summer, a little light relief will soon be sailing over the horizon in the form of luxury cruise liner Genting Dream and its raft of ‘Super Summer Seacations’.
Yes, the infamous ‘no port of call’ cruise is coming to Hong Kong. The Covid-friendly ‘cruise to nowhere’ concept has proved extremely successful in Singapore and Taiwan, where World Dream and Explorer Dream both began sailing last year. Covid restrictions are strictly enforced to ensure a fun break at sea as guests take advantage of an escape from home.
Following discussions with the Hong Kong government, Dream Cruises will now be bringing Genting Dream to the city by June to begin her quarantine process in order to be ready for sailings in July.
Genting Dream is the flagship of the Dream Cruises fleet and is ranked as one of the top ten so-called ‘large resort ships’ in the world. Hong Kong residents will be able to enjoy a multitude of dining, leisure and recreation facilities on board, as well as soaking up a new horizon for a couple of nights.
Family fun includes live performances at Zodiac Theatre, indoor Glow Bowling and outdoors there’s a rope course, rock climbing wall and a waterslide park. There will also be plenty of activities, including a ‘Spot the Ship’ competition with prizes for guests who note the largest number of ocean-going vessels during their ‘seacation’.
During August and September there will be a special Japanese Festival and a Nordic Christmas is planned for November and December (although by the winter many in Asia will perhaps be hoping to be travelling for real).
Of course these sailings have only been permitted to return due to strict health and safety guidelines. Dream Cruises points to its impressive track record - during 11 months of sailings in Taiwan and seven months in Singapore, more than 180,000 guests have been welcomed on board with 100% Covid-incident free voyages. How have they achieved this? Well, through careful and close collaboration with local authorities to supplement the ships’ health existing protocols, which include passenger and crew testing before boarding, stringent health screening processes, upgraded crew quarantine procedures, enhanced sanitisation and disinfection of guest cabins and public areas and increased food and health safety.
All ships boast 100% fresh air, which is filtered and supplied to passenger cabins and public spaces. Taiwan and Singapore sailings have also been carried out at 50% of usual capacity and only local residents are permitted on board. According to Dream Cruises, Genting Dream will be sailing at 50% capacity with a maximum of 1,680 passengers on board. All passengers will be issued with a TRACEY portable social distancing device which they must keep with them at all times during the cruise. They will also be required to scan the QR code of Hong Kong's LeaveHomeSafe tracing app before embarkation.
In terms of vaccination and testing requirements, in accordance with Hong Kong government regulations, full vaccination (which means two doses, with the final jab administered at least 14 days before departure) is required along with a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure. Those unable to take a vaccine must be able to show a medical certificate supporting their exemption. Children under the age of 16 simply need a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure (or a stool test for littlies under six years).
Crew members must also be fully vaccinated and are also required to take a PCR test every 14 days.
“Like all Hong Kong residents, we have been eagerly looking forward to more vacation alternatives during this period,” said Dream Cruises boss Kent Zhu. “These new ‘Super Summer Seacations’ will provide Hong Kong residents the opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of cruising again and will bring much-needed benefits to the tourism industry.”
Genting Dream will be offering a two-night ‘Super Weekend Seacation’ which departs from Hong Kong's Kai Tak Cruise Terminal on Fridays, a two-night ‘Super Weekday Seacation’ departing on Wednesdays and a three-night ‘Super Summer Seacation’ that leaves on Sundays. An early bird promotion is currently in place and the promotional rate starts at HK$1,188 per person based on twin occupancy in a Balcony Stateroom for a two-night ‘Super Weekday Staycation’. Bookings open on May 27.
Find out what it's like on board a cruise to nowhere by reading our review of Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas sailings from Singapore.
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