Royal Caribbean unveils latest ship, promises another option for MICE planners in Asia

Royal Caribbean launched Asia’s largest ship, Spectrum of the Seas, earlier this week on Tuesday, marking the start of its Double Quantum Year in Asia.

The cruise line’s first Quantum Ultra Class ship, Spectrum of the Seas weighs 170,000 gross registered tonnes and has a capacity of more than 5,600 guests and 2,137 staterooms. Onboard offerings include features such as a VR bungee trampoline, a skydiving simulator, high-tech multimedia shows and robotic bartenders.

Spectrum of the Seas docked at Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore

Before homeporting in Shanghai in June 2019, Spectrum of the Seas will offer three sailings from Singapore.

The arrival of Spectrum of the Seas marks the start of Royal Caribbean’s “Double Quantum Year” in Asia. Following hot on the heels of this new vessel, sister ship Quantum of the Seas will return to Singapore in November 2019 for 34 sailings until April 2020.

Following which, it will add a new homeporting season in Singapore, sailing in the region from October 2020 to April 2021. This additional deployment will add some 180,000 guests to the Singapore cruising scene, said Royal Caribbean’s senior vice president international, Gavin Smith.

“We are seeing a great response to these larger ships in Asia – the three Singapore sailings on Spectrum of the Seas this and next week are sold out. We are confident of growing the Asian market,” he said.

Smith credited trade partnerships with entities such as Changi Airport Group and the Singapore Tourism Board for the growth of cruise tourism in Asia.

Royal Caribbean’s managing director, Asia-Pacific, Angie Stephen, added: “We’re seeing growth not only in Singapore, but also from the region outside of Singapore. Our MICE business has been growing at a rapid pace over the last several years, especially as we bring new ships with more innovations and activities.”

Stephen remarked that meeting planners can also look forward to the exclusivity provided by Spectrum of the Seas’ Suite Club enclave. Accessible only by keycard, the Suite Club features 40 suites, two private dining rooms, a pool and a sundeck.

However, she revealed that the largest obstacle the cruise line faces in Asia is the lack of product awareness.

She said: “The biggest challenge we continue to have in this region is awareness and education. We need to get the word out that cruising is affordable, that there’s plenty of things to do and it’s hassle-free. That’s the number one thing we must overcome. The penetration (into this market) and amount of people (in Asia) who cruise is still a very low number.”

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