The ship may have sailed for Singapore Airlines’ “flights to nowhere,” but not for cruise ships eager to hit the waves again.
The Singapore Tourism Board has set its sights on cruises to nowhere and has awarded a S$145,000 contract to Norway’s DNV GL to prepare necessary measures for two- to four-night voyages, according to published details of the deal.
The company was selected from four bidders who applied early last month.
With cruise ships and COVID not a confidence-inspiring fit following explosive outbreaks at sea earlier this year, the Norwegian organization is tasked with coming up with adequate health and safety protocols. That includes cutting ship capacity by half for the first three months of operation, which the report did not specify would begin. All cruise ships would be audited, certified and inspected for three months before sailing, it added.
Cruise ships have not been able to call on Singapore since March, following COVID-19 outbreaks onboard the Diamond Princess in Yokohama, Japan, where five Singaporeans were quarantined. More than 600 passengers were infected and two died.
Yesterday, Singapore logged 23 new cases. Nineteen were cases of domestic transmission, 16 of which were found in migrant worker housing. Four cases were imported. The official count as of this morning was 57,765 infections and 27 deaths since January.