Royal Caribbean enters into five-year multi-million-dollar fly-cruise partnership with Singapore Tourism Board and Changi Airport Group

Quantum of the Seas at Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore in 2015 (Photo credit: Royal Caribbean Int.)Royal Caribbean International has entered into a new multimillion-dollar marketing partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board and Changi Airport Group to promote fly-cruises. This five-year tripartite collaboration, the longest ever, is expected to bring some 623,000 international fly-cruise visitors to Singapore, and generate over S$430 million in tourism receipts between end-2019 and 2024.

The announcement of this partnership is in tandem with news of the cruise line’s five-year Quantum Class deployment in Singapore, which includes Quantum of the Seas, one of Asia’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ships.

Spurring growth for Singapore’s fly-cruise scene

To kick off the partnership, Quantum of the Seas arrives fresh from her multimillion-dollar refurbishment for her six-month homeporting season in Singapore – Royal Caribbean’s longest ever Singapore deployment for a Quantum Class ship – which is expected to add some 150,000 overseas and local guests to the local cruising scene.

According to the cruise line, Singapore’s homeport status, world-class port infrastructure, and seamless connectivity to other destinations around the world positions the city as a crucial destination in Royal Caribbean’s regional strategy.

Ms Angie Stephen, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said, “Travel habits are constantly evolving, and holidaymakers in the region are increasingly looking to visit and explore more destinations in one vacation trip.Alongside Singapore Tourism Board and Changi Airport Group, we aim to offer more reasons for travellers to come to Singapore for a fly-cruise experience.

“This tripartite partnership marks a significant milestone in our 50th year as a global cruise brand, and our work here in Singapore has played a huge role in driving our growth regionally. Together with the five-year homeporting season of our Quantum Class ships, this sets the stage for us to further grow Singapore as the cruise hub of Asia, preparing the region for larger deployments in the future, where we will welcome even newer and bigger ships,” she added.

The five-year partnership is expected to generate at least 60 per cent higher tourism receipts compared to the previous partnerships combined. The first partnership ran from 2015 till 2018 to market Mariner of the Seas, followed by another three-year partnership launched in 2017 for Ovation of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas. Both partnerships have generated strong tourism dollars of S$260 million.

The partnership promises significant economic impact to Singapore and is reinforced by the positive outlook for cruise tourism in Asia, where the number of cruise passengers sailing in Southeast Asia is expected to grow at 4.6 per cent to 6.4 per cent per annum to reach up to an estimated 4.5 million passengers by 2035[1]. The partnership will target key regional markets such as India, Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as long-haul markets including Australia, United Kingdom and the United States.

Ms Annie Chang, Director, Cruise, Singapore Tourism Board, said, “We are pleased to once again partner Royal Caribbean and Changi Airport Group to grow cruising in Singapore and Southeast Asia. This being Royal Caribbean’s longest Singapore homeport deployment with a larger shipunderscores its confidence in Singapore and the region. Royal Caribbean is always at the forefront of innovation and the latest deployment of Quantum of the Seas will diversify our cruise offerings, entrenching Singapore as a top fly-cruise hub in Asia.”

Fly-cruise is a fast-growing passenger segment in Singapore, with cruise numbers rising steadily in recent years. Given Changi Airport’s strong air connectivity to some 380 cities, Singapore is well-placed to tap into the fly-cruise sector and serve as a cruise hub for the region. To enhance Singapore’s attractiveness as a stopover point and support the growth of the fly-cruise hub, the Group recently launched a seamless intermodal transfer service for passengers flying into Singapore and sailing out on cruise lines and ferries. Passengers who take up this service will have their bags delivered from their arriving flights to their departing ship and enjoy facilities of the Changi Lounge located in the new Jewel Changi Airport, before being transferred to the cruise terminal. This intermodal transfer service has benefited fly-cruise guests from China, India and from the Southeast Asian region.

From 1 December 2019, Royal Caribbean guests from China will be able to enjoy this seamless transfer service as part of new fly-cruise travel packages for sailing out of Singapore. Guests will be able to make the most out of their pre-cruise time in Singapore, by exploring Jewel’s exciting lifestyle offerings, including its latest digital attraction, the Changi Experience Studio.

Mr Peh Ke-Wei, Changi Airport Group’s Vice President of Passenger Development, Air Hub Development said, “We are excited to enter into a third tripartite collaboration with Royal Caribbean International and Singapore Tourism Board. We see great potential in Singapore’s fly-cruise market and are excited to work with our partners to generate higher traffic for long-term growth. We believe the launch of our new seamless transfer service offers end-to-end convenience for our fly-cruise passengers and enhances their travel experience. We will continue to explore more ways to excite our passengers during their journey through Changi Airport.”

New experiences for a changing market

Royal Caribbean also announced new amenities onboard its refurbished Quantum of the Seas, including an escape room and glow-in-the-dark laser tag, both of which are set to raise the bar for multi-generational travel experiences. These are on top of the ship’s iconic first-in-industry North Star elevated glass capsule, skydiving simulator, Bionic Bar, bumper cars and high tech entertainment shows.

“We are constantly innovating our offerings onboard to deliver novel, first-at-sea experiences that will thrill and excite today’s travellers. We are seeing more Gen Z cruisers coming onboard, and we want to cater to their preferences with one of Asia’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ships where guests can expect diverse experiences and adventures at every turn.

“Cruise holidays are great for every generation, and we hope to demonstrate that with our innovative fleet for years to come,” said Ms Stephen.

(Royal Caribbean International, Changi Airport Group)

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