Genting Cruises’ second Dream homeports in Hong Kong and Nansha with itineraries to Philippines and Vietnam
By Catharine Nicol
Seafood feasts, hotpot family gatherings and luxury suites, shopping and spectacular shows will be wowing the mostly mainland Chinese and Hong Kong passengers aboard new ship World Dream.
Tweaking the software after listening to feedback from passengers aboard sister ship Genting Dream, which launched last November, the Dream team are hoping the new facilities and services will make trips to new destinations Manila and Boracay, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City, increasingly sought after.
The auspicious date of 17/11/17 was chosen for the Hong Kong launch of Genting Hong Kong’s World Dream, showcasing the new and dynamic ship to its first Hong Kong and Southern Chinese passengers.
On hand, VIPs and more than 1,000 guests toasted the ship’s inaugural voyage before a preview of signature productions Sonio, and the fireworks and laser show, exclusive to Asia.
World Dream shares DNA with sister ship Genting Dream, but her offerings, focusing on food, family and luxury, have been refined for the predicted 48% mainland Chinese, 40% Hong Kong and 12% international mix of passengers.
“Food is a very important part of a cruise and we are offering various Chinese cuisines,” said Kent Zhu, president of Genting Cruise Lines. “We realise that the Chinese and Hong Kong markets prefer seafood and so we added a seafood restaurant. People also love hotpot, so we added hotpot, and Korean cuisine is popular so we have Korean BBQ in the Japanese restaurant.”
World Dreams has also added 10 more suites and complimentary services in Dream Palace, their ship-within-a-ship luxury concept, as well as private, customised dining at Vintage Room, and shopping exclusives that include Asia’s first Tiffany & Co and Dior Watches & Jewellery at sea, beauty counter MAKE-UP BAR and fragrance and liquor brand pairings at Scents & Spirits.
As the demographic of cruisers is getting younger, family and kids’ concepts are also high on the facilities and services priorities list.
“We are adding more cots because family cruising is such an important segment, while to help attract the younger generation we’ve added the VR Arcade and E-Sports,” says Zhu, who also mentioned adventurous facilities and poolside parties.
The company expects to capture the fly-cruise market using Hong Kong’s connectivity and location as leverage. “Our source market can be in Asia or long-haul, as passengers can easily fly to Hong Kong,” Zhu said,
“The city’s proximity to southern China, together with Hong Kong being an attractive destination among customers in southern China, means we can combine the appeal of Hong Kong as a destination and for cruising.”
He also introduced a new trend for the company, that of attracting MICE business. “Hong Kong is a very popular MICE market. In fact, last year saw 9.9% growth in the MICE segment here. We can position cruising as a new incentive element or a MICE experience.
“Customers can either hold on-board corporate meetings and off-ship have great experiences in Hong Kong, or enjoy the facilities and food on the ship and get off for meetings at world class facilities.”
When it comes to the itinerary, World Dream will focus on two new destinations, Vietnam and The Philippines. “First, we have a high percentage of repeat passengers and need to provide new product routes constantly,” explained Zhu.
“Second, the weather is getting colder. We can still run Japan as the weather is good there even in winter, but we thought it would be good to go further south, so we created the Philippines and Vietnam itineraries. They are two very interesting countries; Boracay in particular is unique in terms of a beach destination. In addition, other cruise ships may not have the speed to reach these two destinations.”
With Genting Dream recently receiving Star Performer Top Ten rating in the large resort category of Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Guide 2018 (earning 1585 out of 2000) as well as scooping Travel Weekly Asia’s Reader’s Choice Awards 2017 for Best New Ship, World Dream looks set to follow in her wake