SINGAPORE – Some cruise passengers here will have to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 before they are allowed to sail out to sea.
This comes after cruise line Royal Caribbean International announced on Wednesday (Sept 29) that all guests who are aged 12 and older will have to be fully vaccinated for all new bookings made from next month.
It said in a statement: “The vaccine requirement is one of the many layers of measures that safeguard the well-being of guests and crew, and Royal Caribbean will continue to evaluate and update its measures as circumstances evolve with various government and health authorities.”
It added that this measure is in addition to safeguards already in place, such as its crew having to be vaccinated.
Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas and Dream Cruises’ World Dream were given the green light from last November to offer cruises-to-nowhere from Singapore under a pilot scheme, after sailings were halted amid escalating Covid-19 outbreaks.
Under the pilot scheme, the round-trip cruises have no ports of call and passengers have to take a mandatory Covid-19 test prior to boarding.
According to Dream Cruises’ website, it is not mandatory for guests to be vaccinated.
Mr Michael Goh, president of Dream Cruises and head of international sales at Genting Cruise Lines, said since July this year, more than 90 per cent of its guests have been fully vaccinated.
As at Sept 20, World Dream has had 137 sailings with close to 173,000 passengers.
Mr Goh said: “Dream Cruises will continue to monitor closely the situation and explore the additional layers of potential safety measures, including guests’ vaccination requirements in the future.”
However, only guests that have been fully vaccinated will be allowed to dine in at the restaurants on board, including unvaccinated children aged 12 years or below from the same household. This will start from 11am on the second day of the cruise.
Prior to that, all guests, regardless of their vaccination status, will be allowed to dine in, having undergone the mandatory pre-boarding Antigen Rapid Test (ART).
Those who are not vaccinated can opt to take away their food or call for room service.
Singapore has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. As at Tuesday, 82 per cent of the population have completed their full regimen of Covid-19 vaccines, and 85 per cent have received at least one dose.