First Came Flights to Nowhere. Now, This

Two cruise lines offering round trips out of Singapore starting next month
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2020 2:40 PM CDT
First Came Flights to Nowhere. Now, This
File photo of the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship. It will be sailing out of Singapore (and back to Singapore) in December.   (PHOTOPRESS/Hublot via AP Images)

The "flight to nowhere" being offered by Australia's Qantas airline amid the pandemic sold out in a flash. And the cruise industry has apparently taken notice. Singapore has given the OK for two cruise lines to depart from one of its ports and return to the same port without making any stops along the way, reports the Guardian. The first to sail will be Genting Cruise Lines’ World Dream ship on Nov. 6, while Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas will follow suit in December, per Channel News Asia. The ships will be at half capacity, and the cruise lines swear that rigid protocols will keep passengers safe from COVID during the excursions of two to four days.

"This cruise pilot is a valuable opportunity for cruise operators to reinvent the entire cruise experience in order to regain the confidence of passengers," says Keith Tan of the Singapore Tourism Board, per CNN. Not as enthused are environmental advocates. "These ships can have a higher carbon footprint than flying in a jumbo jet,” says Lucy Gilliam of the group Transport & Environment. "They’re burning significant amounts of fuel per passenger because they’ve essentially got a huge hotel load as well as amusements on top." (Let's hope the trips go better than this one.)

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