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

Asian cruise line Dream Cruises announced Monday, amid the coronavirus pandemic, that some of its cruise operations will restart in July.

According to a press release from parent company Genting Cruise Lines, the restart will begin with two and three-night “Taiwan Island-Hopping” itineraries on Dream Cruises' Explorer Dream starting July 26.

“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 the release.

He added that 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."

The release called Taiwan the "ideal destination" for the resumed operations, citing the company's 25-year history with the island and the island's popularity among travelers.

Back in February, another of the company's ships, World Dream, was denied entry to Taiwan after three people who had been on the ship tested positive for the virus. Nearly 3,700 people were held on board for testing and eventually, it was forced to return to Hong Kong.

The release also stated that the island's low numbers of COVID-19 cases and effective response to the pandemic has been "lauded by experts."

The release states that the Explorer Dream has undergone a thorough deep cleaning and the crew are observing "strict quarantine procedures."

"To safeguard the well-being of guests, stringent health screening processes and guidelines prior to embarkation, disembarkation and social distancing measures on board, as well as thorough sanitization and disinfection and enhanced hygiene practices for guest cabins and crew member quarters, public areas and recreational facilities, along with safe food and beverage handling procedures will be in place," the release continues.

Specifically, all of Genting Cruise Lines’ ships allow for "100% external fresh air" to be filtered and supplied to each cabin and public areas, the release explained. There are also Isolation wards in the medical center and cabins can be converted into quarantine rooms if required.

Gentings' announcement comes less than two weeks after other cruise lines extended their sailing suspensions.

Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises extended their suspensions through Sept. 30, with some additional voyages canceled through October.

That's two weeks longer the other member lines of trade group Cruise Lines International Association said they would suspend U.S. cruise operations.

The first region hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Asia – and China, specifically – was also the first to begin reopening. On May 11, Shanghai Disneyland became the first of the company's theme parks in the world to reopen its gates.

Contributing: Morgan Hines, USA TODAY

Exclusive:Cruise industry announces US sailing suspension extended until Sept. 15

More:Zaandam cruise passengers' suit calls on Holland America, Carnival Corp. to reform

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/06/29/gentings-dream-cruises-resume-cruises-july-amid-coronavirus/3277725001/

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