Dream Cruises, a brand of casino cruise ship operator Genting Hong Kong Ltd, says it has been forced to cancel a two-night sailing scheduled to leave Hong Kong on Friday, due to that city’s government imposing with effect from Friday, a 14-day tightening of social-distancing measures.
The local authorities had said on Wednesday that the local Covid-19 situation had “evolved drastically” since Tuesday, including fresh cases of Omicron-variant infection that could not be traced source-wise.
Dream Cruises stressed in its Wednesday statement, that the cancellation of the trip by its Genting Dream vessel (pictured in a file photo) was “due to the government’s directive and not as a result of any Covid-19 related incidents on board the ship”.
The same day it had announced that an earlier scheduled two-night cruise by Genting Dream – due to have left on Wednesday – had also been cancelled.
Dream Cruises said affected customers could transfer to other Genting Dream cruises scheduled for up to April 27, although “blackout” dates applied to periods during Chinese New Year, namely February 2 and 4; and Easter, namely April 15 and 17.
The Hong Kong government specifically mentioned a ban on so-called “cruise to nowhere” sailings as part of its latest Covid-19 countermeasures.
Hong Kong bars, sports facilities and “places of public entertainment” will also have to close for 14 days.
The city’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, had already said on Tuesday that Hong Kong’s recent growing number of Omicron-variant Covid-19 cases had in likelihood set back the chances of that city having a quarantine-free travel arrangement with mainland China. That would also be likely to affect the chances of a quarantine-free travel protocol with Macau.
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"Genting was always facing an uphill battle to displace an existing concessionaire"
Founder of consultancy Newpage Consulting