Royal Caribbean International announced that it will homeport its billion-dollar smartship in Singapore in 2017 for a season, bringing thousands of cruisers to the region and injecting millions into the regional and local economies.
The announcement was made during the maiden call of Ovation of the Seas in Singapore, where a plaque and key ceremony was held in the presence of over 200 government and industry partners, with Mr Lionel Yeo, Chief Executive of Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Mr Alexander Hungate, President and Chief Executive Officer of SATS, and Ovation of the Seas’ Captain Flemming Nielsen. The ship has ended her 14-night cruise from Dubai to Singapore.
Making history as the first international cruise line to deploy a brand new ship to Asia for homeporting, Ovation of the Seas was delivered in April. At 347m long, 168,666 gross registered tonnes, carrying 4,905 guests in total and laden with first-at sea features and technologies, the smartship will be the largest and most technologically-advanced ship to call Singapore home next year.
Over her 10 sailings from March to April 2017, Ovation of the Seas is expected to add some 42,000 additional guests to the Singapore cruising scene, and delivering millions through in-port spend. She will offer return trips ranging from 3 to 5 nights to Penang, Phuket, Bangkok (Laem Chabang), and a one-way cruise to Tianjin with calls at Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) for an overnight, Hue/Danang (Chan May), Hong Kong and Seoul (Incheon). Royal Caribbean’s Senior Vice President, International, Mr Gavin Smith said,
“We’re thrilled to bring one of the world’s most innovative cruise ships to Singapore and the region, and take cruise travel here to new heights.
“Joining Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas, the addition of Ovation of the Seas means we will have the largest cruise fleet deployment of any brand in Southeast Asia. He said,
“Our investment reaffirms our commitment to Singapore and the region, and the bright future we see for the region’s cruising industry.”
Mr Smith further shared with the deployment of Ovation of the Seas, plus the return of Voyager of the Seas in May andMariner of the Seas in October, this will increase Royal Caribbean’s capacity in 2017 in Southeast Asia by 30 per cent over 2016. Mr Yap Chin Siang, Assistant Chief Executive (Policy and Planning), Singapore Tourism Board, said:
“The homeporting of the Ovation of the Seas is a testament to the appeal of cruising from Singapore. It is also very timely – the upcoming Visit ASEAN@50 celebrations in 2017 will highlight the best of Southeast Asia, and cruises offer the perfect way to experience the warm hospitality of the region.
“We also hope that this deployment will spur the region to enhance cruise infrastructure to accommodate more ships like the Ovation. As the lead co-ordinator for Cruise at ASEAN, Singapore will continue to work with our neighbours to develop our region into a preferred cruising destination.”
Guests on board the 18-deck smartship will enjoy the ‘North Star’, an observation capsule that rises 92 metres over the ocean; ‘Two70’ – a Scopy8.5 million hi-tech entertainment venue; cocktails served by robots at the ‘Bionic Bar’; skydiving and surfing experiences; interior virtual balconies with real-time ocean views; luxurious Loft suites with large living areas and private concierge service; and ‘SeaPlex’, the largest indoor activity space at sea – housing a basketball court, circus school, roller-skating, bumper cars, and more.
Ovation of the Seas also boasts 18 restaurants with cuisines from around the globe, including imaginative cuisine at Wonderland, and Jamie’s Italian by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver; the fastest internet connection speeds at sea; and a collection of artwork valued at more than S$6 million.
Ovation of the Seas will embark on a 3-night cruise to Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang) tomorrow with a record 4,576 guests on a cruise ship for Singapore. She will then depart for her summer Tianjin season on a 12-night repositioning sailing on June 12, calling at Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Hong Kong (overnight), Xiamen and Seoul (Incheon). She will also make a repositioning cruise back to Singapore later this year.