Asia’s newest cruise brand Resorts World Cruises officially began operating when its first ship – the 3,352-guest Genting Dream – sailed out of Singapore on 15 June 2022. Since then, it has been working hard to achieve its aim of spurring the growth of Asia’s luxury cruise sector.
“As a homegrown Asian brand, we aspire to take Asian hospitality to the next level, going above and beyond to deliver personalised lifestyle experiences with international offerings for our guests,” says Michael Goh, president of Resorts World Cruises. “With this aim as the core foundation of the business, we strive to create human connections and strong relationships with our guests, and complement and enhance these with our itineraries and destination offerings.”
“One of our brand hallmarks is that we provide exceptional short getaway destination cruises that are infused with exciting and relevant offerings to deliver holistic experiences from ship to shore,” says Goh. “Of course, our ship itself is also a resort at sea too.”
To ensure it could deliver such cruises, the brand carefully considered Genting Dream’s homeports and ports of call.
“There are many elements that make ports an attractive and viable option for cruise ships, but finding one with the right infrastructure is crucial,” says Goh. “Ports should have good facilities for berthing or tendering ships, processing passengers during embarkation and disembarkation, bunkering, sourcing food, and much more. In addition, we want ports that have well-equipped terminals and provide easy access to both local transport and popular tourist attractions.”
Resorts World Cruises chose dual homeports for Genting Dream, which now sails weekly two- and three-night cruises from both Singapore and Port Klang, near Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
“We wanted to boost Singapore’s inbound and outbound tourism and bring cruising to the doorsteps of Malaysians residing in central Peninsular Malaysia by enabling them to depart from Kuala Lumpur, which is convenient and affordable,” says Goh. “Not only are Singapore and Kuala Lumpur dual homeports for Genting Dream, but they are also major tourist destinations themselves. Guests embarking at either port will have the chance to visit both cities during their cruise, as well as Penang on three-night itineraries.”
Resorts World Cruises has elevated guests’ onshore experiences by curating shore excursions that capture the unique essence of each destination. In Singapore, for example, guests can take tours that enable them to try the country’s unique cuisine, shop on the famous Orchard Road, or discover the diversity of Asian culture by visiting the traditional ethnic enclaves, including Chinatown, Little India and Kampon Glam, among others.
Meanwhile, excursions in Kuala Lumpur enable guests to see landmarks such as the Petronas Towers, sample street food at Jalan Imbi, learn about Peranakan culture in Melaka, head to the Batu Caves, visit Pulau Ketam fishing village, take a boat trip to the Unesco World Heritage site of Langkawi, and much more.
“Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are both popular with travellers in the region due to their iconic landmarks, cuisine and shopping opportunities, and our cruise itineraries give them an alternative and convenient way to experience the cities,” says Goh. “Penang Island adds an interesting mix to the itinerary, allowing guests to explore one of Malaysia’s rich heritage and favourite food haven destinations.”
Goh notes that Resorts World Cruises strives to create programmes with a diverse range of shore excursion options to cater to a wide spectrum of guest demographics. “For instance, our ‘Taste & Traditions in Penang’ shore excursion is popular with both younger and older guests because it highlights key landmarks of Penang, famous local cuisine that is unique to the island, and shopping,” he says. “Such guided tours deliver a holistic experience for our guests.”
Buoyed by the success of Genting Dream’s maiden season, Goh says Resorts World Cruises will continue to focus on strengthening the offerings from its dual homeports. “This will include both the roundtrip itineraries and the one-way cruises between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur,” he says. “In addition, we’ll explore new destinations, considering factors including customer demand, available port facilities, immigration processes and shore excursion opportunities, to name just a few.”
As part of its plan to trial new destinations, Resorts World Cruises will sail a five-night cruise from Kuala Lumpur to Penang and Phuket, Thailand, as well as a five-night voyage to Bintan Island, North Bali, and Surabaya in Indonesia in late 2022. “These special cruises will enable us to assess the feasibility of calling into these ports and other new destinations more regularly in the future,” says Goh.
He adds that the brand will also adapt its future itineraries, shore excursions and onboard offerings to cater to the growing demand for personalised cruise experiences.
“We continue to build and expand our offerings to suit current lifestyle and market trends, and we know that human connection and hospitality will be the key differentiators when it comes to building a strong relationship between vacationers’ experiences and our brand,” he explains. “We’ll enhance our two-, three- and five-night cruises to deliver more personalised experiences onboard the vessel, especially in the luxury Palace, a private ship-within-a-ship enclave that offers exclusive amenities.
“Plus, we’ll explore more custom-made excursions with unique experiences as guests’ interests change over time. Of course, we’ll ensure that we can still cater to the preferences of the greater group, while providing more options for the various target segments.”
This article was first published in the 2023 issue of Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox or your door.