Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning 2022

6 4 PL ANNER PERSPECTI VE Bringing back cruising in Asia As one of the biggest cruise companies in Asia, Genting Cruise Lines is pivotal to the future of the region’s cruise industry. Raymond Lim tells Alex Smith how it restarted sailing in tough times Representing three cruise brands – Star Cruises, Dream Cruises and Crystal Cruises – Genting Cruise Lines is one of the biggest players in Asia’s cruise landscape. It was the first company to resume cruising in the continent following the outbreak of Covid-19, when Dream Cruises’ Explorer Dream began sailing a series of two- and three-night ‘Taiwan IslandHopping’ itineraries from Keelung, Taiwan, in July 2020. Since then, Genting has gradually returned to ports across Asia, though it has yet to resume sailing to destinations outside the region. However, the company remains optimistic for future expansion across the world once the pandemic is fully under control. “For Genting Cruise Lines, our strategy has predominantly been to deploy our ships in the Asia region,” says Raymond Lim, senior vice president of planning and port management at Genting Cruise Lines. “Prior to Covid-19, we had also deployed our ships to Australia and New Zealand as well. However, with the impact of Covid-19 on the cruise industry and with the travel restrictions still enforced in the region, our short- and medium-term plans are to look at shorter sailings such as ‘High Seas’ itineraries or, in the case of Taiwan, island-hopping cruises. “Once Covid-19 is under control, our long-term goal is to explore farther deployments to destinations in the Mediterranean and Alaska with our fleet.” When the company is not bound by Covid-19-related restrictions, it chooses ports based on their suitability and appeal, with research carried out by a dedicated team. Explorer Dream was the first ship to resume sailing in Asia with departures from Keelung, Taiwan in July 2020