Dream Cruises’ Michael Goh: We’ll have to win back consumer confidence

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The outbreak of Covid-19 has resulted in port closures around the world, thus putting most of the cruise industry at a standstill. At present, operations for Dream Cruises’ fleet have been temporarily suspended. This includes Explorer Dream, World Dream and Genting Dream.

But the line’s President is keen to talk about the comeback.

“We are complying with policies and measures from government agencies, and closely monitoring global developments,” said Mr Michael Goh, President, Dream Cruises & Head of International Sales. “Singapore’s foreign minister pointed out that with the global spread of Covid-19, countries around the world must be prepared for the economic aftermath which would last at least a year.”

Despite the volatile situation, Mr Goh continues to have faith in the resilience of Asia’s cruise industry, expressing hope that cruising will recover and pick up in the long run.

“With travel policies changing by the minute, we are closely attuned to the markets’ sentiments and remain hopeful of gaining consumers’ confidence once the pandemic ends, as there is strong growth potential for cruises in Asia,” he said.

Additionally, Dream Cruises is working closely with the Singapore Tourism Board to actively map out cruise recovery plans.

Goh expressed his appreciation for the Singapore Tourism Board’s efforts in growing the cruise industry thus far, and encouraging cruise passengers to “experience the beauty of Asia through Dream Cruises”.

“Just like how our ships have navigated through rough weathers, this is the time for our regional counterparts to work hand in hand to brave through the storm and emerge stronger than before,” he added.

Once the cruise industry bounces back, Dream Cruises also hopes to play a key role in its continued growth, especially the fly-cruise sector.

“We will continue to develop the Fly-Cruise segment with key travel partners and airlines,” Goh elaborated. “This will be done through strategic collaborations, and innovative Fly-Cruise packages with pre & post cruise extensions.”

Moving forward, Mr Goh also acknowledges the challenge of winning over new cruisers who might now be wary of onboard diseases.

“We understand that the recent publicity centred around cruises may deter new cruisers from making bookings,” he said. “Therefore, it is imperative for us to educate the public about the high sanitation standards on board cruise ships.”

Today, the company announced it will not be returning to Australia with Explorer Dream.

“In light of the global coronavirus pandemic, Dream Cruises has been monitoring the situation and working closely with authorities to support all possible precautionary measures. As always, the health and safety of our guests and crew is our upmost priority” said Brigita Devries, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Australia and New Zealand.

As Mr Goh explained, the health and safety of guests and crew continues to remain Genting Cruise Lines’ top priority. Right from the onset of Covid-19, the line has been working closely with local and regional authorities in implementing precautionary measures. Stringent health screening processes and enhanced sanitisation and disinfection protocols have been implemented across its fleet, in accordance with various government policies.

“We have communicated these measures through Dream Cruises’ digital platforms to set our cruisers’ minds at ease and provide assurance right from the beginning,” noted Mr Goh.

He continued, “Genting Cruise Lines invites all cruisers to ‘Cruise As You Wish’, by offering them a flexible 48 hours pre-cruise cancellation policy.”

With the ‘Cruise as You Wish’ booking option, all new and existing bookings made for Dream or Star Cruises sailings (prior to or on 31 July 2020) will have the flexibility to cancel up to 48 hours before departure. Customers will receive 100% future cruise credit to redeem for any sailing, embarking on or before 31 December 2020.

In 2021 and 2022, cruisers can also look forward to the launch of two Global class ships. The first ship − Global Dream − is scheduled for delivery in early 2021.

The Global Class ships (over 208,000 grt) cost US$ 1.8 billion each, with a passenger capacity of over 9,000 and 2,350 cabins. Each vessel features state-of-the art technologies such as robotics (self-guided mobile assistants) and digital systems, delivering a cutting-edge cruising experience that will maximise both convenience and speed for guests.

Families can also expect the first-ever theme park at sea, as well as the world’s longest rollercoaster at sea. Standard cabins are the most spacious in the sector as well – featuring two bathrooms and about 15% larger than cabins offered on other cruise ships.

“As the only global cruise line with all “Made in Germany” cruise ships, Dream Cruises’ fleet will feature the highest safety standards, build quality, speed, power and luxury finishes,” said Nr Goh. “The line will also provide its Asian-sourced guests with the best food, entertainment and service standards on board.”