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New ship No. 9 — Genting Dream

Ninth in a series of new ships for 2016

Don’t stop the presses for this new ship, because it may or may not arrive when announced. The ship — Genting Dream — is the first of two ships for a new cruise line, Dream Cruises, which is owned by Genting Hong Kong, which also owns Crystal Cruises, Star Cruises and 28 per cent of Norwegian, which owns Oceania and Regent Seven Seas. Translation: It’s big. It’s also big because a ship of this size — somewhere north of 3,400 passengers — is competition for all the mainstream lines that are hustling ships off to Asia.

Launch date: Late Autumn

Capacity: 3,400

Sister ships: Unnamed, to come in 2017

Maiden voyage: Unknown

Home port: Asia

Ships then in Dream Cruises fleet: 1

Interesting: The most recent information from Star Cruises (that’s the Star Pisces in picture) is that this first ship for Dream Cruises will have the highest crew-to-guest ratio (2,000-to-3,400) of any Asia Pacific ship. What’s more intriguing is that it will have two submersibles to take passengers 20,000 leagues under the sea…okay, on an underwater adventure “to discover the treasures of the ocean,” four passengers at a time. The ship will also serve as a bridge, between Genting’s luxury brand (Crystal) and its mass-market brand (Star), a category that the parent company calls “premium.” The Genting Dream and the sister ship that’s expected to follow late next year are being positioned as “mega ships” and there are reports the second one will carry 4,500 passengers. But don’t take that to the bank!

In the news…

• Holland America Koningsdam to feature micro greens grown onboard
• Fathom adds four new voluntourism activities in Dominican Republic
• Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection ramps up push for the family market

Today at portsandbows.comHarvest Caye opening delayed nine months


Carnival Fantasy
4 nights
May 9, 2016
Miami (return): Key West, Cozumel
Inside: $249
Cost per day: $62
www.carnival.com

South Korea waters tricky for casinos

Star Cruises is a small cruise line that opens a piece (28 per cent) of a big cruise line, Norwegian. Its sell line is that Star is the “leading cruise line in Asia-Pacific” so, naturally, it caters to Asians.

On the weekend, South Korea gave Star Cruises permission to operate casinos once the ships are in international waters, which is the cruise norm. It also said local residents will be allowed to use casinos on cruise ships carrying the Korean national flag. At the moment, there are no such ships, but that’s going to change as cruising starts to grow in South Korea.

But locals weren’t going to be allowed in…really?

In other words, foreigners would have been able to play tables and slots but not nationals. Now that would give a new reason for having your ID checked, wouldn’t it?

Apparently, there is some rationale to this. In South Korea, there are presently 17 casinos. The industry is growing rapidly, despite the fact that only one of the 17 casinos allows South Koreans to gamble.

Really?

In the news…

• Viking's first ocean ship to be christened Sunday in Norway
• Popular Celebrity Eclipse emerges from nine-day refurbishing

Today at portsandbows.com: First look at the Viking Star

Celebrity Constellation
7 nights
August 23, 2015
Venice (return): Dubrovnik, Ephesus, Mykonos, Corfu
Inside: $699
Cost per day: $99
www.celebritycruises.com

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