Cruise ships return to Singapore

SINGAPORE, 10 November 2022: Life for Singapore’s ship-spotters improved in the second half of the year as cruises made a comeback in Southeast Asia.

Enthusiastic spotters snapped snaps of the Viking Orion earlier this week on an overnight stop at the Singapore Cruise Center, while Facebook posts announced the return of Viking Ocean Cruises Asia.

Photo credit Singapore Cruise Company

According to the Singapore Cruise Society, the Viking Orion is now sailing north to Laem Chabang port in the Gulf of Thailand, ending its first intercontinental cruise with Asia in more than two years. It will dock at Thailand’s main cruise port 100 km south of Bangkok.

Viking Orion marked its return to Asia this week, completing a 27-night cruise that began in Honolulu, Hawaii and visited five countries – the United States, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. Fares for the cruise started around AUS6,799, with the cruise line saying the focus is on winning more port days and fewer days at sea. The cruise’s first post-Covid-19 sail explored coastal cities in Australia, Cairns and Darwin before visiting Iceland, Singapore and Bangkok on Thursday.

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It’s been a busy week at the Singapore Cruise Terminal, according to the Singapore Cruise Society’s Facebook post, which oversees Ocean Odyssey’s sailings under the Vantage Deluxe World Travel owner’s flag. The ship completed its “delivery journey” when it arrived in Singapore on Tuesday, arriving from Manila, Philippines, after leaving the shipyard in China.

The Ocean Odyssey and her Infinity-class sister ships share a distinctive Ulstein X-Bow, a design that gives smaller ships a smoother ride and better fuel economy.

Ocean Odyssey has a capacity for 134 passengers in 77 standard cabins and 15 cabins specially designed for solo travelers. It will spend its inaugural 2023 season in Asia, sailing expedition cruises to Indonesia and Australia.

The Wild Landscapes of Indonesia & Australia – 2023 sailings are imported from Singapore. The 22-night cruise features ports of call in Pulau Lengkuas / Belitung Islands, Kumai / Kalimantan, Karimun / Kura Kura, Semarang, Madura, Probolinggo, Celukan Bawang / Lovina Beach, Benoa, Gili Islands, Badas, Rinca / Komodo, Sumba , Sawu, Ende, Lembata, Kalabahi, Kisar and Darwin Australia. The cruise has a starting price of USD17,999 or USD666 per day and features 42 land tours in Indonesia and Northern Australia.

Photo Credit: Singapore Cruise Society.

The five-star Ocean Odyssey follows the launch of the Ocean Explorer in 2020.

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“We couldn’t be more excited to build on the success of Ocean Explorer with Ocean Odyssey,” said Vantage Deluxe World Travel President Henry Lewis. “Our travelers want an intimate, enriching experience where they can truly absorb history and culture with fewer guests and a better staff-to-guest ratio. Ocean Odyssey caters to those who appreciate relaxed refinement, unparalleled cultural enrichment and unique adventure .

The return of cruise ships to Singapore began earlier this year, with a steady increase in daily port calls since July.

A report by the US Department of Commerce International Trade Administration, released at the end of September, noted that many cruise operators have announced the resumption of port calls in Southeast Asia, and cruise bookings are steadily increasing. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) expects Singapore’s cruise industry to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024.

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Between 2010 and 2019, Singapore’s cruise industry contributed USD 530 million to Singapore’s economy, attracting more than 1.2 million people in 2016 alone. Singapore was one of the top destinations for port calls before the pandemic due to its strategic location as a gateway to tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. It is relatively close to more than 25,000 islands, including Bali, Langkawi, Phuket and 37 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the US Department of Commerce reported.

“The outlook for the cruise industry looks positive, with revenue from the cruise industry projected to reach US$239.1 million in 2022. This is a good sign compared to the previous two years during the global pandemic. With at an expected annual growth rate of 13.86%, the market volume should grow to USD401.80 million by 2026,” concluded US Department of Commerce specialist Chan Yiu Kei.


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