A burgeoning middle-class and intra-Asian travel has boosted Singapore’s cruise numbers, Singapore Tourism Board’s cruise director Annie Chang has told ASEAN Cruise News.
She also attributed the significant growth – 16 per cent last year, or a throughput of 1.2 million cruise passengers – to more international cruise lines sending larger and newer ships to homeport in the region.
“Cruise capacity including number of ships deployed in Asia, operating days and passenger capacity has seen double-digit growth rates,’’ Ms Chang said in a statement.
Singapore will host 13 maiden ship calls this year – up from 10 last year.
Dream Cruises will homeport its new ship, Genting Dream year-round in Singapore from December 3 this year.
“In addition, Royal Caribbean has just increased its homeport sailings in Singapore, making this its longest-ever deployment in Singapore from 2017-2019.
“It has lined up 72 sailings on homeported ships, Mariner of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas for its 2017-18 season.
“This announcement was made in conjunction with the launch of the second tripartite partnership between Royal Caribbean, STB and Changi Airport Group, to grow the fly-cruise market and promote cruising out of Singapore on Ovation of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas,’’ she said.
Singapore is also looking to India as a growing cruise market. STB will partner Cruise Lines International Australasia (CLIA) and Indian trade partners such as Tirun, Travel Marketing and Thomas Cook India to organise the second India Cruise Forum to be held in Mumbai on March 30.
Singapore will also spearhead efforts to develop regional port infrastructure development in Southeast Asia.