Although many cruise lines remain uncertain about the future of sailing, Genting Cruise Lines has announced it will return to the seas before the end of next month. The Hong Kong-based cruise line is set to resume sailing on July 26.
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Initial cruises will restart for the Dream Cruises arm of the firm.
The Explorer Dream ship will be the first to launch itineraries, with two and three-night “Taiwan Island-Hopping” holidays to begin with.
However, it is bad news for Britons who will not be able to take advantage of the tropical sailings.
The ships will depart from Keelung, calling at Penghu, Matzu and Kinmen islands, but will only be for domestic travellers who live in Taiwan.
The decision to set sail in Taiwan is largely thanks to the nation’s low COVID-19 figures.
Taiwan has suffered just seven deaths during the pandemic, and of 447 confirmed cases 435 are reported to have fully recovered.
“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,” Tan Sri KT Lim, Chairman and CEO of Genting Hong Kong said in a statement.
He added that 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”.
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The cruise line has collaborated with relevant bodies to deliver a “Certification in Infection Prevention for the Marine industry” onboard the cruise ship.
New health and hygiene protocols will be in place throughout the ship, including social distanced dining and entertainment.
Ventilation systems onboard promise to deliver “fresh air” in staterooms.
The Explorer Dream ship has also undergone a deep cleaning in the time it has not been sailing, and crew now face strict quarantining procedures.
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According to Genting, cruise staff working onboard will undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine period when the ship arrives in Keelung on June 30.
Passengers will also be subject to a screening process before they embark on their journey and upon their return.
Though it is good news for Genting, many other big-name lines around the world continue to halt sailings amid the pandemic.
Carnival Cruise Line recently cancelled all sailings throughout the summer months.
The US cruise line has paused all future sailings until September 30 in its latest update.
In a similar move, Norwegian Cruise Line and its sister brands Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceana Cruises have axed sailings going into the Autumn months.
The only exceptions to the cancellations are Seattle-based Alaska cruises which will be setting sail in September.
P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises have also decided to cancel its sailings into October along with Royal Caribbean announcing it would be cancelling sailings to Alaska, Canada and New England until October.
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