By Peter Lynch in Singapore
Dream Cruises, Asia’s new luxury cruise line, has announced its first ship will switch homeports to Singapore from the end of 2017.
The news, greeted with delight by tourism officials in the city state, was revealed at the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Singapore.
The Genting Dream, launched in Singapore last November, has been based in Hong Kong for the past two months, and travels between Hong Kong, Guangshou and Vietnam.
She will be based in Singapore from December 3 in a move being billed as the first all-year deployment.
Dream Cruises president Thatcher Brown said he thought of the move as bringing Southeast Asia the “biggest, longest and newest” in terms of the ship, its deployment and the fact that it was so knew.
And he maintained the line’s ethos as “Asian but with international in spirit” would appeal to international travellers, including Australians.
Mr Brown also spelled out what it meant for travel agents: $30 million in travel agent commission, $60 million in air tickets for fly-cruise passengers and $18 million in hotel rooms.
The switch will coincide with the expected launch date of the second Dream Cruises vessel – scheduled for November, 2017.
World Dream will be a 151,000-gross tonne vessel with 21 decks able to accommodate 3,300 passengers. Mr Brown did not reveal where she would be based.
The Genting Dream, at 151,300 tonnes, with 1,674 staterooms over 18-decks, will have a big impact on the local market.
Singapore Tourism chief executive Lionel Yeo said the move marked a new chapter for Singapore.