Shore excursions are one thing, but underwater excursions are a realm that has been largely left to the world of the big-ticket expedition cruise brands. Until now, that is.
One week after going on sale to Australian and New Zealand cruise travellers seeking a premium big-ship Asian cruise holiday, new cruise brand Dream Cruises has now started drip-feeding details of what kind of experiences it will be able to offer, with the first coming in the form of two underwater submersibles which will be able to carry passengers deep under the waves in select destinations around the continent.
The fledgling cruise brand’s first ship Genting Dream will feature the two undersea craft (above), each able to carry one pilot and four passengers at a time. At this stage, no details have been released on which parts of the world the submersibles will be able to operate, how deep they will be able to operate, the duration of each ride or indeed how much it will cost for travellers to purchase a ticket.
If you’ve never heard of Dream Cruises, the brand is coming sooner than you might think. Genting Dream is near completion at its German shipyard and will set sail on November 6 this year as it repositions from Europe to its home in Hong Kong. The brand is part of the much larger Genting Hong Kong conglomerate which also operates sister cruise lines in the contemporary Star Cruises and the high-end luxury brand Crystal Cruises.
Soon afterward, it will begin regular weekly seven-night itineraries which will see it visit Danang and Hanoi in Vietnam as well as a cruise in China’s Pearl River Delta, book-ended by dual visits to Guangzhou in China on each rotation. From early next year, the ship will slightly modify its itinerary to head further south in Vietnam to Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City. Prices for the week-long premium cruises start at $2,685 per person twin share, however Dream Cruises will also intermittently offer two and five-night cruises at different times.
The ship will cater to 3,400 passengers and 2,000 crew members, with over 70% of staterooms featuring a balcony. Groups and larger families travelling together will have 100 cabins at their disposal able to interconnect. A wrap-around promenade will feature many of the ship’s 35 dining outlets, ranging from traditional table service restaurants through to bars and other concepts showcasing different cuisines from around Asia.
Additional entertainment options will include wine and whisky appreciation seminars, multiple swimming pools, six water slides, a rock climbing wall and mini-golf course among others. A spa facility will offer a range of Asian inspired pampering options, while guests can also indulge in the services of a hair salon, barber shop and health club.