Dream Cruises to be ‘first cruise line in the world’ to resume operations amid coronavirus pandemic

Well, they’ll certainly have the high seas to themselves.

Genting Cruise Lines has announced that its Dream Cruises brand will resume operations in Taiwan in July. Genting claims it will be the first in the world to do so, after cruise lines internationally suspended service earlier this year due to the global outbreak of COVID-19.

The Asian cruise line announced on Monday that its Explorer Dream ship will set sail once again starting July 26, departing from Keelung and making stops at Penghu, Matzu and Kinmen islands for two and three-night island-hopping excursions.

Dream Cruises' Explorer Dream ship, pictured, will resume operations in Taiwan in July.

Dream Cruises’ Explorer Dream ship, pictured, will resume operations in Taiwan in July. (Genting Cruise Line)

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“After months of detailed planning with the authorities to ensure the safety and health of guests and crew, we appreciate the approval of Explorer Dream resuming cruise operations in Taiwan,” Tan Sri KT Lim, chairman and CEO of Genting Hong Kong, said in a statement. “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.”

Genting described Taiwan as the “ideal destination” to resume operations, citing the country’s low numbers of coronavirus cases, in comparison with global statistics.

The cruise line said it has examined and enhanced all health, hygiene and operating protocol in recent months to create the “safest environment” for those on board, from implementing social distancing measures in its dining, entertainment and public spaces to creating “100 percent fresh air ventilation” in staterooms and operations throughout the ocean liner.

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Per Taiwanese regulations, the Explorer Dream has also received a deep cleaning prior to resuming sailing, and its crew will be quarantined for two weeks before the ship arrives in Keelung on June 30. Then, upon testing negative from nucleic acid tests, the crew will be isolated for another seven days on the Explorer Dream, for 21 total days of “exhaustive preventive procedures” before they set sail to work on July 26.

What’s more, both guests and crew must comply with health screening steps and guidance before embarkation and disembarkation, abide by social distancing rules on board and observe enhanced hygiene practices on the ship. Guest cabins, crew quarters and public spaces will be thoroughly sanitized and disinfected, while new safe food and beverage handling practices will be implemented.

In other cruise news, Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line have extended their suspension of sailings until Sept. 30 in response to the ongoing outbreak.

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