Since December 2020, the so-called “Cruises to Nowhere” have been offered in Singapore, according to the “ZDF“. Luxury liners from the US shipping company Royal Caribbean cast off at a port on the Asian island and sail across the sea for three to four days without a destination – before they finally dock again at the port of departure.
Vacation despite travel restrictions: cruises without a destination and stopovers in Singapore
The idea is well received in the corona pandemic, where international travel is difficult. “I’m happy to just come out on the ship,” says 30-year-old passenger Sean Chi, for example. The 1,300 crew members are also happy to have a job during the crisis. However, they are not allowed to leave the ship for months, have to work daily and have themselves tested weekly.
The hygiene measures for passengers should also be similarly strict. 72 hours before the start of the trip, you have to be tested in a shopping center in the city center. In addition, a tracking bracelet around the wrist and masks on board are mandatory. They are only allowed to be taken off while eating, drinking, exercising and in the pool.
But this does not prevent many from cruising. “I’m used to the mask from everyday life in Singapore,” says Sean Chi. In addition, the cruises with a price of just over 500 euros for four nights on board in an outside cabin with a balcony, including food and alcohol, are far cheaper than so-called “staycations” in a hotel in the city.
35,000 passengers on a total of 25 cruises to nowhere
The desire for vacation is currently great, which is why 35,000 passengers are said to have already participated in a total of 25 cruises to nowhere. Angie Stephen, Asia chief of the shipping company, explains: “The international travel restrictions have undoubtedly disrupted vacation plans. With the world largely standing still, we see a pent-up demand for travel – that’s why we created this pilot project for the people of Singapore. “
But there is also criticism of the model. A similar project, Singapore Airlines flights to nowhere, is said to have been discontinued before the first flight after a wave of criticism. In particular, the question of how trips to nowhere affect the climate are said to have been the main point of criticism.