SINGAPORE – Royal Caribbean International (RCI) has entered into a multimillion-dollar marketing partnership with Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Changi Airport Group (CAG) to promote fly-cruises.
For Southeast Asia, this is an amazing time to cruise. The appetite for cruise in our region is just starting out and Singapore and RCI are poised to tap on that tremendous potential,
This is the trio’s third collaboration, and is expected to bring 623,000 international fly-cruise visitors to Singapore and generate over S$430 million in tourism receipts from end-2019 to 2024.
The announcement was made in tandem with news of the cruise line’s five-year deployment of a Quantum Class ship, which includes the newly refurbished Quantum of the Seas – one of Asia’s largest cruise ships.
“This tripartite partnership marks a significant milestone in our 50th year as a global cruise brand, and our work here in Singapore has played a huge role in driving our growth regionally. Together with the five-year homeporting season of our Quantum Class ships, this sets the stage for us to further grow Singapore as the cruise hub of Asia, preparing the region for larger deployments in the future, where we will welcome even newer and bigger ships,” said Angie Stephen, managing director, Asia-Pacific, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
WHAT THE PARTNERSHIP WILL BRING TO SINGAPORE AND THE REGION
The five-year partnership is expected to generate at least 60% more tourism receipts compared to the previous partnerships combined. The partnership will target cruise passengers from key regional markets such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia and China, as well as long-haul markets including Australia, United Kingdom and the United States.
By 2034, according to industry estimates, the number of cruise passengers sailing the region will grow from 4.6% to 6.4% per year to reach an estimated 4.5 million passengers.
“For Southeast Asia, this is an amazing time to cruise. The appetite for cruise in our region is just starting out and Singapore and RCI are poised to tap on that tremendous potential,” said Keith Tan, chief executive, Singapore Tourism Board.
“RCI’s longest and largest deployment attest to the industry and our regional governments’ efforts in developing Southeast Asia as a vibrant, growing cruise destination,” he added.
WHAT THE PARTNERSHIP ENTAILS
To entice more fly-cruise visitors to Singapore, investments will be poured in to marketing and research to understand consumers outside of Singapore, according to Ms Stephen. This is on top of media investments, incentives for MICE planners to bring events onboard as well as famil trips for agents to experience the ship as well as Singapore.
To support the growth of its role as a fly-cruise hub, CAG recently launched a seamless fly-cruise service where passengers will get to enjoy the convenience of having their bags delivered from their arriving flights to their departing ships, freeing them up to enjoy facilities at the new Jewel Changi Airport as well as Singapore as a destination.
RCI’S FIVE-YEAR QUANTUM CLASS DEPLOYMENT
With the five-year commitment to Singapore, RCI will deploy Quantum Class ships to the region for year-round homeporting, according to Ms Stephen.
This will kick off with Quantum of the Seas, which will embark on its six-month homeporting season in Singapore for 34 sailings from November to May 2020.
The 4,900-passenger ship is expected to bring in 150,000 cruise visitors this season, before returning for its seven-month season next October to April 2021.
In between, Voyager of the Seas will be homeported in Singapore from May to June 2020.
“What we’ve announced and opened for sale now is about a 10-month season. Our goal is to continue to grow [our open seasons] as the popularity and demand for cruising in Singapore grows. We should be adding July-August itineraries eventually,” said Ms Stephen.
In addition to iconic first-in-industry features such as the North Star elevated glass capsule, skydiving simulator, Bionic Bar and high-tech entertainment shows at Two70, the newly refurbished Quantum of the Seas features a pop-up escape room and glow-in-the-dark laser tag, both of which will likely entice multi-generation travellers, which is a priority segment for the cruise line.
As part of its efforts to continually cater to this group of travellers, Ms Stephen reveals that a new family and children programme is in the pipeline, with details, hopefully ready to be unveiled next year.
At the same time, Royal Caribbean will be ramping up its themed cruises to generate more excitement. Two weeks ago, the cruise line concluded its first Halal-certified themed cruise onboard Voyager of the Seas with a 500-pax group from Malaysia.