SINGAPORE: The departure of Dream Cruises' World Dream cruise went ahead on Wednesday (Dec 9) evening, after a passenger on board another cruise by Royal Caribbean tested positive for COVID-19.
Dream Cruises said its ship would leave ahead of schedule on Wednesday in order to facilitate the earlier disembarkation of the Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas ship.
A CNA reporter at Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore saw the World Dream cruise set sail at about 6.20pm. According to the Dream Cruises website, its ships normally depart at 9pm.
"Subsequent cruises on World Dream will continue to operate as scheduled with its current set of stringent health and hygiene protocols in place," Dream Cruises said in a statement.
The Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas cruise returned to Singapore on Wednesday morning, a day ahead of schedule, after an 83-year-old passenger on board tested positive for COVID-19.
All 1,680 passengers and 1,148 crew members on board the cruise tested negative for COVID-19 before the ship set sail on Monday, said the Singapore Tourism Board.
The passenger has since been taken to hospital. His polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test sample will be retested at the National Public Health Laboratory and a second sample will be taken for "confirmatory tests", said the Ministry of Health.
READ: Royal Caribbean cruise passenger who tested positive for COVID-19 taken to hospital; other passengers to remain on board
"Dream Cruises will comply with any and all additional guidelines from the Singapore authorities that may arise from this incident in order to maintain the health and well-being of guests and crew on World Dream and in the city," the cruise line said.
It added that it had issued "enhanced preventive measures which were created in consultation with international health organisations and local government authorities".
"Part of World Dream's measures includes conducting COVID-19 tests for all passengers on the departure day at the terminal prior to embarkation to ensure that all guests are negative and to minimise the window for infection before boarding," the cruise line said.
It added: "Dream Cruises had also gained invaluable experience by having two of its sister company ships from Star Cruises redeployed in Singapore as temporary housing for healthy foreign workers along with the operation of Explorer Dream in Taiwan since Jul 26 - also without any COVID-19 incidents."
Passengers are required to undergo a COVID-19 antigen rapid test (ART) at the cruise terminal on the day of departure prior to boarding, according to the Dream Cruises website.
Dream Cruises and Royal Caribbean started offering cruises to nowhere in November and December respectively, as part of a pilot scheme that allows round-trips with no ports of call.