The first post-Covid-19 ocean cruise will depart the port of Keelung in less than a month’s time.
If you’re based in Taiwan, a leisurely maritime voyage is going to be possible even sooner than you think. July 26 will mark the resumption of Dream Cruises’ two- and three-night island-hopping itineraries aboard Explorer Dream from Keelung to the Penghu and Matsu Islands as well as Kinmen.
In a press statement, Tan Sri K.T. Lim, the chairman and CEO of Genting Hong Kong (Dream Cruises’ parent company) said approval for the voyages came after months of detailed planning with Taiwanese authorities to ensure the safety of both passengers and crew members on board. Lim added, “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.”
Indeed, the start date is well ahead of those set by other global operators, most of which will resume sailings this September or October at the very earliest. Kent Zhu, president of Genting Cruise Lines, said the resumption was “truly a remarkable achievement which was made possible by the Taiwan authorities’ swift and effective handling of the Covid-19 crisis.”
Genting Cruise Lines has been enhancing its health, hygiene, and operating protocols over the past few months, so passengers should expect stringent health screening to be conducted prior to embarkation and disembarkation, with social-distancing measures implemented across all dining, entertainment, and public areas throughout the ship. Travelers can also rest in the assurance that the ship’s ventilation system supplies filtered fresh air from outside to all staterooms and public areas. In addition, the onboard medical center is equipped with isolation wards, while cabins can be converted into quarantine rooms if necessary.
The majority of crew will be taken from other Genting Cruise Lines ships, all of which have been quarantined for the last three months. All crew members will undergo a 14-day self-isolation period on land when the ship arrives in Keelung today, and after being cleared through nucleic acid tests, they will be subject to a final seven-day quarantine aboard Explorer Dream before operations resume on July 26.
More information here.