Asia’s newest cruise brand, Dream Cruises will be holding a special launch for travel agents in Singapore next Wednesday to get a better understanding of what the line will be offering. Ahead of the launch, ASEAN Cruise News speaks to the president, Thatcher Brown about the development of Dream Cruises. Next week, he reveals what will be offered onboard the Genting and World Dream, launching at the end of this year and in 2017. ASEAN Cruise News and will bring you a special newsletter including more from Mr Brown.
Why did Genting Hong Kong decide to make the move of creating a luxury brand?
We studied the market carefully and we listened to our guest feedback and they identified a gap in the market place for an authentic Asia based premium cruise brand.
As a pioneer in the cruise industry in the Asia Pacific since 1993, Genting Hong Kong is extremely familiar with the subtle nuances of the cultures here and can anticipate our guests’ needs and requirements from China and across the region through our years of service in this area. We pride ourselves on being Asia’s leading cruise company based in the region, built for the region and serving the people of the region.
How will Dream Cruises fill the gap in the premium market?
There continues to be an upward trend in the cruise industry in Asia with a growing premium market segment, which is further supported by the rapid emergence of Asia’s middle and affluent classes, bringing far-reaching economic change.
The number of Chinese and Asian cruise vacationers has grown substantially over the past few years and have developed a more sophisticated understanding of cruise products; they are better able to appreciate the value of a high-end brand, such as Dream Cruises.
The addition of the Dream Cruises brand to our portfolio is timely, enabling us to introduce a distinctly home grown cruise brand that is authentically Asian, which specifically targets and caters to the large and rapidly growing premium market in China and Asia. With the introduction of Dream Cruises, travellers and holidaymakers will soon have a broader choice of vacation experiences and accommodation options that are tailored-made for Asians, addressing the various levels of needs and providing inspired vacation experiences.
Dream Cruises is geared to attract more of China and Asia’s affluent travel sector by offering unique entertainment, restaurants and first-at-sea activities to enrich our guests’ experience.
What will make Dream Cruises different from the other companies?
With Dream Cruises, we are proud to be the first-ever Asian based luxury cruise line, created and based in the region, that will specifically cater to Asia’s luxury sector with a purpose built new ship for this market when Genting Dream launches in late 2016.
Currently, the majority of ships with homeports in China are mainly targeted to the mass-market consumer with the occasional premium ship deployment in this region on a more seasonal rather than a permanent basis.
However, Asia continues to take a bigger percentage of the global cruise industry each year with China being a major growth engine for the region and, as the cruise market continues to evolve and mature, so will the competition.
At the very core, what will differentiate Dream Cruises from the other cruise lines will be our commitment and ability to offer inspirational luxury, which is Asian at heart and international in spirit for all our guests. We will introduce a new standard of excellence in service and quality at sea.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? How long have you worked in the cruise/travel industry?
I have always been attracted to what I consider a “noble profession” of service to others. When I was a teenager I took a year off between high school and University to work on a 5-Star luxury cruise ship as a waiter and deck steward. I travelled the world while learning the importance of delivering exceptional service. This experience ignited my passion for the hospitality industry, which led me to further my studies in the field of hospitality. I graduated from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University and have been in the hospitality and travel industry for over 25 years. Prior to joining Dream Cruises, I held various operational and management positions with different international hospitality companies. As fate had it, I was an early-on employee of Crystal Cruises when the company first started 25 years ago. Now with Star Cruises, Dream Cruises and Crystal Cruises all part of Genting Hong Kong, I am honoured to be part of the family and to be entrusted with the opportunity to lead and grow the Dream Cruises brand in the luxury vacation sector across Asia. It is indeed a privilege to be part of such a milestone with such a great team of dedicated and passionate professionals.