The crew members of the Dream Cruises cruise ship Genting Dream have received their second doses of Covid-19 vaccines ahead of the inauguration of "cruise to nowhere" voyages scheduled for July 30.
Genting Dream will be the first ship to kick off the cruises to nowhere since the government relaxed restrictions. On July 30, the vessel will set sail with no specific destination for a three-day, two-night trip. Some 1,000 passengers have signed up.
The vessel arrived in Hong Kong on June 9 and is now anchored at Kai Tak cruise terminal.
In a press conference yesterday, the cruise company said preparations have been completed ahead of the inaugural trip.
"The 400-strong crew had received their first BioNTech vaccine
on June 23, and received the second dose on July 14," said Raymond Lim Jiun-yan, the senior vice president of the company's planning and port management department. An additional 400 fully vaccinated crew members from the mainland are currently under quarantine.
Crew members are disinfecting the ship, as well as checking and replacing all the air filters on air ventilators. The system will ensure there are 25 cubic meters of fresh air per person per hour and six to 15 air changes every hour.
"The Genting Dream will set sail every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday starting from the end of July, which adds up to 12 cruises per month," said Christine Li, senior vice president and head of marketing.
All passengers must be fully vaccinated and provide a negative Covid
-19 test taken 48 hours before boarding.
Li added that measures would be taken on board to reduce the risk of infection.
"The theater on board the ship will only operate at 75 percent capacity, and we will ensure that the passengers will be 1.5 meters apart when they are queuing. We will also not allow passengers to take food by themselves into the restaurant, and ask the staff to serve them instead," she said.
Li also said the cruise would terminate immediately if any infections were suspected during the voyage.
"The cruise ship will return to dock at once, and the suspected patient will be taken to hospital. All close contacts of that person will be sent to government quarantine camps. Other passengers can leave the ship after being tested negative on board," she said.
Another ship, World Dream, set sail from Singapore. One of the passengers was initially diagnosed with the virus - he was a close contact of an infected patient on land. As a result, the cruise ship returned to Singapore early yesterday.